Mangrove trees shown both above and below the water

Nature-Based Solutions as a Catalyst for Achieving Mutual Benefits for People, Nature, and Climate: Lessons learned from China and globally

This virtual event will feature speakers who will share their experience on the application of nature-based solutions (NbS) to provide long-term social, ecological and economic benefits. The outcome of the event will be a practical understanding of the multiple advantages of NbS, including climate mitigation and adaptation, as well as ecological, social, and economic benefits.  
January 20, 2021 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm GMT +1

(Open to public)

Nature-based solutions (NbS) can potentially provide up to 37% of cost-effective global COmitigation targets by 2030, while limiting global warming to 1.5C can lower biodiversity loss by 50%. According to the World Economic Forum’s New Nature Economy Report, NbS could unlock an estimated USD 10 trillion of business opportunities and have the ability to create 395 million jobs in 2030, beyond providing important biodiversity, climate mitigation, and adaptation outcomes. NbS also provide important social and health benefits, employment opportunities, and poverty alleviation that make valuable contributions to several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With this in mind, NbS are promoted as the best way to achieve human well-being, tackle climate change, and protect our living planet. The increasing political recognition of climate change and biodiversity crises and the need to protect and enhance nature’s multiple benefits has never seemed more urgent.

Despite many pilot projects, NbS are still underutilized for meeting specific climate, biodiversity, and infrastructure needs. One critical gap is a lack of evidence demonstrating that NbS solutions provide tangible, measurable outcomes that contribute to meeting climate, biodiversity, and other national and international needs and targets. This lack of evidence prevents the adoption of NbS projects, financing for NbS, and broad recognition that NbS are a cost-effective means of meeting climate, biodiversity, and related socio-economic needs.

Co-hosted by IISD and the China Council for International Cooperation On Environment and Development (CCICED), this high-level virtual event will foster discussion of the evidence of nature-based solutions for biodiversity, climate change mitigation, and adaptation outcomes. Featured speakers will share their experience on the application of NbS to provide long-term social, ecological, and economic benefits. In particular, the event will highlight leading Chinese practices (e.g., Turning cities into sponges; the Loess Plateau; Ecological Conservation Red Line) as well as Europe’s NbS work under the Horizon 2020 Program and the new European Green Deal.

In addition, the event will feature an expert discussion on assessing the impact and results of NbS, their added value, and policy relevance. Panelists will also share research results and key lessons learned from the resulting evidence base and how NbS can support policy implementation. The outcome of the event will be a practical understanding of the multiple advantages of NbS, including climate mitigation and adaptation, as well as ecological, social, and economic benefits.


  • Promote NbS as a practical means to achieve benefits for climate, biodiversity, and well-being.
  • Highlight specific social and economic benefits from NbS, including how to assess the impacts of NbS and key lessons emerging from the resulting evidence base
  • Share and identify actions and opportunities to strengthen strategies and advance the uptake and implementation of NbS.


Dr. Richard FlorizonePresident and CEO of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)


1:00 pm (GMT+1)

Opening Remarks

Patricia Fuller – Canada's Ambassador for Climate Change

Scott Vaughan – International Chief Advisor, CCICED 

1:05 pm (GMT+1)
Unlocking the Potential of NbS

Aloke Barnwal – Senior Climate Change Specialist, Global Environment Facility  

  • What sets Nature-based Solutions apart from traditional conservation and how does the current programming landscape look like?
  • What is needed to move forward? 

1:20 pm (GMT+1)


What Nature-Based Solutions Can Do for Us

Wang Yi – Vice President, Institute of Science and Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Co-Team Lead, CCICED SPS 1-1 Global Climate Governance and China’s Role 

  • What are leading Chinese practices at the policy and project level to advance the implementation of Nature-based Solutions in China and beyond?
  • What role do nature-based Solutions play in China’s Belt & Road Initiative?

Sofie Vandewoestijne - Project Adviser, European Commission DG Research and Innovation

  • How have Nature-based Solutions supported policy implementation in the European Union?
  • What are recommendations and opportunities to strengthen strategies and actions for NbS that can contribute to solving societal challenges in Europe and beyond?

The Future of Nature and Business

Akanksha Khatri – Head of Nature Action Agenda, World Economic Forum

  • Why is loss of nature and the services we derive from it a risk to businesses?
  • What transitions are needed to move towards a nature-positive economy and how can business be part of the solution?

Panel Discussion and Q&A

Commentaries provided by:

Bernice Lee – Executive Director, Hoffmann Centre on the Sustainable Resource Economy, Chatham House, CCICED Special Advisor

Changxin Zou – Division Director of Research Centre for Ecological Protection and Restoration, Nanjing Institute of Environmental Science, Ministry of Ecology and Environment  

2:05 pm (GMT+1)
Building the Business Case for Nature-Based Solutions

Assessing the economic value of Nature-based Solutions

Andrea Bassi – Senior Associate, IISD

  • How can we assess the impact and added value of nature-based solutions to ensure predictability of performanceespecially in key areas such as biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation (including flooding), water quality, air quality, and sustainable communities?

Biodiversity loss and nature-based solutions: A view from re/insurance

Oliver Schelske – Natural Assets & ESG Research Lead, Swiss Re Institute

  • How can nature-based insurance or insuring natural assets contribute towards building resilience as well as scaling up nature-based solutions? 
  • What are concrete examples/pilot projects?  

Rachel Terry – Programme Manager, Van Oord

  • How can the private sector and innovation contribute to scaling up nature-based solutions?
  • How a leading international marine contractor specialising in dredging and offshore energy is playing a key role in advancing Nature-based solutions.

Panel Discussion & Q&A

Commentary provided by:

Sagarika Chatterjee – Director of Climate Change, Principles for Responsible Investment and COP26 High-Level Climate Action Champions Team; Co-Team Lead, CCICED SPS 4-3 Green Finance  

2:50 pm (GMT+1)


Scott Vaughan – International Chief Advisor, CCICED