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The Nature-Based Infrastructure Global Resource Centre

Nature-based infrastructure (NBI) lies at the heart of climate change action. It underpins the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Accord, and the new international commitments on nature and biodiversity. Despite its wide-ranging benefits, NBI is not being scaled up enough to fulfill its potential. This is because our knowledge of the performance, predictability, and financial viability of NBI has—until now—been limited.

Together with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the MAVA Foundation, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), IISD is currently establishing the Nature-Based Infrastructure Global Resource Centre. The NBI Global Resource Centre aims to bring together key partners to establish a business case for nature-based infrastructure. We will provide data, training, and sector-specific valuations based on the latest innovations in systems thinking and financial modelling.

We will work together with infrastructure planners, policy-makers, decision-makers, and financiers to improve the track record of NBI in delivering infrastructure services and supporting climate change adaptation while providing other environmental, social, and economic benefits.

Our Approach

The complexity of NBI requires taking a systemic approach when we plan, value, and implement infrastructure projects. It also requires knowledge integration and collaboration with partners in the field. Our work quantifies the positive impact of stewardship activities on ecosystems and demonstrates the cost efficiency of NBI. 

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Objectives

The NBI Global Resource Centre will seek to:

- Improve the predictability and certainty of performance of NBI through more than 40 customized valuations of NBI projects globally.

- Provide access to the data on the NBI performance through a new online database.

- Strengthen the capacity of key stakeholders to understand and value NBI through a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and customized training.

- Connect and build partnerships in the NBI field.

If you want to submit a proposal for assessment and collaborate with us to develop customized valuations of your projects, please contact our teams.

The valuations include:

- The creation of a qualitative assessment of the impacts of the NBI project.

- An economic assessment of the ecosystem services delivered by a given project.

- A financial assessment of the project’s performance under different climate change scenarios, with climate data derived from the EU’s Copernicus Climate Data Store.

- A comparison with the cost of grey-built infrastructure that provides the same level of services.

Description of what a customized valuation of an NBI project includes

Through the Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) assessments, we have built a wealth of experience on how to value the costs of risks and externalities, as well as the risks that can emerge from externalities over a project life cycle. We have established partnerships with active NBI stakeholders in various geographies and sectors.

Find out more on the SAVi website

Our track record on planning, valuing, and implementing nature-based solutions spans across various programs.

The National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network

SAVi NBI track record

IISD-Experimental Lakes Area and natural infrastructure Canada

For a full overview of IISD’s work on NBI, see this page.

The GEF–MAVA project will be executed by IISD, while UNIDO will be the GEF implementing agency. GEF support comes from its Special Climate Change Fund. This work is also a key input into the work of the Global Commission on Adaptation.

funder banner for nbi includes Mava, GEF and UNIDO