The British Ecological Society has today launched a complete assessment of the potential of nature-based solutions (NbS) to mitigate climate change and benefit biodiversity in the UK.
Incorporating contributions from over 100 experts, the report outlines a comprehensive evaluation of the available evidence and details the strengths, limitations and trade-offs of NbS in different habitats across the UK. The report also makes several recommendations for implementing NbS, including the need for strategic spatial planning, stakeholder engagement, and investment in approaches and tools for analysing landscape level trade-offs and prioritising NbS.
The need to restore and protect the UK’s peatlands was highlighted as a priority area for action as, while they currently store around 3 billion tonnes of carbon, are they are currently emitting an estimated 23 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) annually as a result of drainage and degradation. The importance of creating the ‘right habitat in the right place’ was also emphasised, with authors calling for afforestation to be targeted to low-quality grassland, as opposed to peatland or species-rich grasslands. The potential for NbS in marine habitats and grasslands are also promoted.
A key message of the report is that NbS can provide a valuable contribution to climate change mitigation and can simultaneously protect and enhance biodiversity, improve human wellbeing, bring economic benefit, and provide a wide range of ecosystem services.