Ecosystem Services and Nature-based Solutions

Ecosystems provide valuable resources such as food or water and therefore play a crucial role for human well-being. Ecosystem services are defined as those services and processes through which natural ecosystems and their components sustain and fulfil human life. In other words, ecosystem services describe the benefits human populations derive, directly or indirectly, from natural ecosystem functions. Although these services have important ecological, cultural and economic significance. Ecosystems are increasingly threatened and degraded by environmental impacts caused, among other factors, by climate change. In order to further avoid such negative impacts on natural ecosystems and at the same time to achieve the restoration of natural as well as altered ecosystems, there is a growing necessity to focus on sustainable concepts such as nature-based solutions. Nature-based solutions are planning concepts and designed interventions that are inspired as well as supported by nature and are intended to cope with ecological and social challenges in a resource-efficient and adaptive way to maintain and enhance both human well-being and biodiversity. In the context of sustainable development of urban regions, nature-based solutions can contribute to increasing the resilience of cities and their infrastructure systems.

Element 1Ecosystem Services and Nature based Solutions