The Nature-Based Infrastructure Global Resource Centre

Impact Report 2022

The NBI Global Resource Centre has worked on NBI projects in 14 countries.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework outlines an ambitious agenda to safeguard our planet’s health. However, without adequate financing for nature, the Framework’s goals will remain out of reach. This is where the NBI Centre comes in. The NBI Centre provides economic analysis, financial modeling, training, networks, and support for scaling nature-based infrastructure projects and financing.
- Benjamin Simmons, Director of the NBI Global Resource Centre
As climate change intensifies and communities are hit by its affects, there’s an urgent need to scale up NBI on the global level—and to do it fast. NBI provides us with a crucial opportunity to work with nature rather than fight against it, to protect both the lives and livelihoods of climate-affected communities and restore natural environments.
- Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Interim Co-President and Co-CEO, IISD

We establish ourselves as a game-changing solution to climate adaptation and sustainable infrastructure by:

  • Improving the predictability of how NBI performs through customized valuations
  • Providing access to data on the performance of NBI through a new online database
  • Strengthening the capacity of stakeholders to understand and value NBI through a live online training program
  • Identifying and communicating policy recommendations to scale up investments in NBI
  • Connecting and building partnerships between project proponents, local stakeholders, and investors

1. Launch of the NBI Training Program

In 2022, the NBI Centre launched an online training on how to value NBI for more than 2,000 registrants from 159 countries. This course aims to empower policy-makers, infrastructure planners and investors to understand the economic and financial performance as well as co-benefits of NBI, in comparison with "built" or "grey" infrastructure.

"This has been the best course in relation to NBI that I've done until now. The combination of remote classes and written material is very good, and the presenters have been excellent. It also covers a great range of things related to NBI."
— Iñigo Ruiz-Apilanez, Associate at Arup, UK
"Senior leadership and engineering professionals could benefit greatly by attending this course and learning more about what is possible in achieving positive outcomes through the implementation of NBI projects."
- Adam Schellhammer, Executive Director for Valley Conservation Council, USA

2. Innovative Research

We continued to raise the profile of NBI by publishing new research, quantifying the proportion of built infrastructure that could be replaced with nature-based alternatives and the money that would be saved globally, as well as the wider environmental and social benefits of doing so.

Through the application of the Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) methodology we have built a wealth of knowledge, engaging stakeholders to look beyond financial and economic factors to help them identify environmental, social and economic benefits over a project’s lifecycle.

In doing so, we have established partnerships with NBI stakeholders throughout the world.

In 2022, we published six NBI project assessments:

We combine robust climate data, systems thinking, system dynamics, and spatial and financial models to make the investment case for nature-based infrastructure projects.

Our unique methodology relies on the interrelated features of simulation, valuation, and customization.

By working closely with our stakeholders, we cultivate a shared understanding of nature’s value in delivering resilient infrastructure services.

Our final publication of 2022 explored how NBI responds to pressing urban challenges and how it can support the transition to sustainable cities.

We found that...

For every USD 1 invested, nature-based infrastructure in cities can generate 30 times that in benefits for society.

NBI in cities is 42% cheaper and creates over a third more value than grey infrastructure.

With our research, we continue to address the evidence gap which investors, project developers, and other key stakeholders face when they evaluate whether to invest in nature.

3. Communication

We concluded 2022 with a high-level panel on the Role of Nature-Based Infrastructure in Sustainable Cities at the Biodiversity COP15 meeting in Montreal. We also co-organized a session on the potential role of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) in promoting and scaling up nature-based infrastructure. 

In addition to the wealth of resources available on the NBI Global Resource Centre, our communications efforts in 2022 led to:

  • The production of an explanatory brochure for the NBI Global Resource Centre
  • 1,809 new subscribers to our mailing list (138% increase)
  • A 65% increase of followers on twitter with several top tweets...

The road ahead...

In 2023, the NBI Centre will launch a 'Deep Dive' webinar series to provide in-depth guidance for the valuation methods we use in our assessments. The aim is to disseminate the results of our SAVi assessments for NBI projects and share further technical knowledge on the system dynamics, spatial modelling, and financial modelling for valuing NBI.

We will continue to expand the number of NBI projects we support, including projects in Colombia, Ghana, Greece, India, and many others, while also developing new and improved data on NBI in the online database.

In the next year we are also looking forward to working with stakeholders to develop dedicated financing strategies for NBI projects and will be reaching out to new partners to support customized assessments of NBI projects.

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