Strengthening Natural Infrastructure Through Public Policy

December 5, 2023 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CT

(Open to public)

The need for strong public policy to strengthen the use of nature in meeting our water (and other) needs is increasingly clear. However, exactly how and what public policy can help in this space is perhaps less understood.

This webinar brings together experts to highlight some efforts in the public policy arena. We hear about the U.S. Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap developed by the United States Presidency to “unleash nature’s full potential,” as well as leading efforts and opportunities in this space from a Canadian perspective.

Some key takeaways from this webinar were:

  • There seems to some general consensus on natural infrastructure related terminology across the board—we're now using nature based solutions, natural infrastructure and related terms in more specific ways to enable governments and other stakeholders.
  • The US roadmap on NBS is an exciting and inspiring enabling policy that gives us great examples of not only what is needed in Canada, but also how it might be achieved through coordination between multiple agencies, including for provincial governments in Canada.
  • The National Adaptation Strategy is an exciting policy enabler for natural area management and natural infrastructure in Canada and incorporates some much-needed regional resource centres and tools for capacity building for these efforts.
  • Upcoming Green Municipal Funds will include funding for adaptation actions and will target smaller communities, incorporating capacity building and project design elements- clearly in response to some of the critical gaps we've seen in relation to NI.
  • Funding is key—both in the U.S. and in Canada there are big dollars being put towards efforts, and more and more these are directed not just to the easy wins, but to the long-term systems that are needed to scale up efforts in this space.

This webinar took place on December 5, 2023. Watch the full recording below or on YouTube.


This webinar is the third in a series of three fall webinars by IISD's Natural Infrastructure for Water Solutions (NIWS). Learn about Overcoming Capacity Limitations for Rural and Small Municipalities Across the Prairies from our first webinar and watch our second webinar, Pathways to Financing Natural Infrastructure in Canada.

Our Speakers

Dr. Lydia Olander

Dr. Lydia Olander is the Director of Nature-Based Resilience at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where she leads work on nature-based solutions, coastal resilience, and community-driven relocation. 

She also works on compensatory mitigation, climate resilience for natural systems, natural capital accounting, and incorporating ecosystem services into benefit-cost analysis. She has worked at the intersection of science and policy for two decades, supporting decision-makers in addressing environmental challenges.

Guy Greenaway

Guy Greenaway is the Executive Director, Corvus Centre for Conservation Policy. 

Guy’s 25-year career has involved research, facilitation, and communication in several areas of nature conservation in Canada, primarily through non-government organizations but also through private consulting and volunteering.

Guy’s work has focused on natural infrastructure, private land conservation, market-based instruments, sustainable land use, strategic planning, ecosystem services valuation, agricultural land conservation, conservation policy development, community visioning, and municipal conservation planning.

Laniel Bateman

Laniel Bateman is the Director for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Policy at Environment and Climate Change Canada. She joined Environment Canada in 2003 and has worked on a broad range of files, primarily related to climate change and nature.

Prior to joining the Government of Canada, she worked for an environmental non-government organization and in the private sector in wetland remediation. Laniel holds an Environmental Science degree from the University of Guelph.



Resources shared by Environment and Climate Change Canada:

National Adaptation Strategy:
Funding Programs:
Looking Forward:
Awareness and Capacity:


Thanks to our funder and to our webinar series partner:

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