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The study reveals that national and international frameworks are essential for the implementation of nature-based solutions in Asia

image: Challenges for implementing nature-based solutions in Asia, cross-cutting strategies and coordination between institutions and fragmented actors is essential for implementing NBS in Asia
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Credit: Forest and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan

Recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), nature-based solutions (NBS) refer to solutions that combine human well-being, environmental sustainability and biodiversity benefits. NbS are also key elements for pandemic recovery strategies after COVID-19. NBSs cover a range of elements, from ecosystem-based climate change mitigation to ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction measures. While post-NBS techniques may not be new, their inclusion in national and international governance frameworks for their effective implementation is.

Most NBS studies focus on Europe. The European Union was an early adopter of the NBS and has secured its promotion by linking the NbS to the European Green Agreement and the COVID-19 pandemic recovery. The region has established strong links between the NBS and various actors (governments, institutions, businesses, etc.). But the same cannot be said of Asia. There remains a lack of a cohesive regional strategy for implementing NBS in Asia, as well as limited local and national cross-sectoral governance to promote NbS and green recovery strategies. The large number of developing countries in Asia is also a problem for the promotion and implementation of the NBS.

In a new study, published in Politics and Governance, researchers Dr. Kanako Morita from the Forest and Forest Product Research Institute and Associate Professor Ken’ichi Matsumoto of Toyo University, Japan, have elaborated on governance challenges for NBS implementation in the East, Southeast and Southeast Asian regions. “Implementing NBS governance in countries at different stages of economic development is complex, such as developing NBS measures with different institutions and actors. explains Dr. Morita.

The findings of their study showed that climate change mitigation, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and infrastructure are three areas where NbS have been widely implemented in Asian countries. These areas are also related to climate safety issues, including ecological safety. However, there is room for further work, especially to ensure uniformity in NBS implementation in different regions. “Current discussions on NBS governance focus on urban areas, but NBS is essential in a wide range of landscapes and marine landscapes and beyond the boundaries of jurisdiction. In developing countries in particular, there is a need for international cooperation in NBS governance. notes Dr. Morita, in this context.

The researchers found that the NBS relates to international frameworks related to the UNFCCC and CBD in the field of climate change (climate change mitigation), with clear national strategies, policies and international financial mechanisms. The Paris Agreement is one of the main drivers of this development. Unfortunately, however, discussion of cross-cutting strategies, such as the NbS application for green recovery after the pandemic, has not been widespread so far in Asian countries.

In the field of DRR, NbS are affiliated with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). Japan in particular has invested heavily in promoting ecosystem-based DRR (Eco-DRR). But the same can not be said for other Asian countries. While some countries have incorporated Eco-DRR into their national strategies, local governance and enforcement measures remain weak. The financial mechanisms for NBS involvement in Eco-DRR need to be elaborated and clarified. Furthermore, developing countries in particular need financial and technical support to properly implement the NBS for Eco-DRR.

Finally, the researchers found no formal link between the NBS and the international infrastructure framework. “There is no consensus on what the NBS includes for infrastructure. This makes it very difficult to establish national policies or frameworks and, most importantly, the financial mechanisms for implementing the NBS. says Dr. Morita.

Taken together, the study highlights the fragmentation of institutions and actors in Asia, and the unique challenges this poses to different types of NBS. The study also highlights the need for cooperation between local, national and international actors, including governments and institutions. “Our analysis recognizes the need for a cross-sectoral framework to match the need for NBS with relevant actors and institutions to varying degrees. We also recommend establishing guidelines for involving and promoting the NBS in local and national policies, as well as in international cooperation. concludes Dr. Morita.

Applying these suggestions will surely help address the tragedy of the things we all face in the face of — that is, climate change — as well as bring benefits to biodiversity and humans, both in the short term, after the pandemic, and even in the long run. -sustainable long-term development.

About Forest and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan
Inaugurated as a unit for forest experiments in Tokyo in 1905, the Forest and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI) was largely reorganized in 1988, when it received its current name. Throughout its 110-year history, FFPRI has conducted interdisciplinary research on forests, forestry, timber industry, and tree breeding with an agenda based around sustainable development goals. FFPRI is currently seeking to collaborate with a variety of actors, such as international organizations, government agencies, and industry and academic leaders, to conduct much-needed forest research and to ensure that we conserve these resources. renewable.

Website: https://www.ffpri.affrc.go.jp/ffpri/en/index.html

About Dr. Kanako Morita from the Forest and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan
Dr. Kanako Morita received her doctorate. from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2010. She is currently a senior fellow at the Forest and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan. Its areas of research are interdisciplinary approaches to improving climate change, biodiversity, forests and renewable energy-related institutions. Its work focuses on governance and financial mechanisms to meet the needs of sustainable development and the mitigation and adaptation of climate change in Asia-Pacific. Dr. Morita is also an Assistant Professor at Keio University, Japan, a visiting researcher at the United Nations University and a visiting researcher at the National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan.

Funding information
This research is supported by grant numbers JSPS KAKENHI 19K12467, 18H03428, 18K11800, 19H04340, Environmental Research and Technology Development Fund (JPMEERF20181001) of Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency of Japanese Restoration and Conservation Agency of Japan, 40,400,100,10,40,10,40,40, 19H04340, 19H04340. Fund for the Promotion Office of the Forest and Forest Products Research Institute and the Integrated Climate Model Advancement Research Program (TOUGOU program) with grant number JPMXD0717935715 from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.


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