The Role of Nature-Based Solutions in Supporting Social-Ecological Resilience for Climate Change Adaptation

Aug 1, 2023

Social-ecological systems underpinning nature-based solutions (NbS) must be resilient to changing conditions if they are to contribute to long-term climate change adaptation. We develop a two-part conceptual framework linking social-ecological resilience to adaptation outcomes in NbS. Part one determines the potential of NbS to support resilience based on assessing whether NbS affect key mechanisms known to enable resilience. Examples include social-ecological diversity, connectivity, and inclusive decision-making. Part two includes adaptation outcomes that building social-ecological resilience can sustain, known as nature’s contributions to adaptation (NCAs). We apply the framework to a global dataset of NbS in forests. We find evidence that NbS may be supporting resilience by influencing many enabling mechanisms. NbS also deliver many NCAs such as flood and drought mitigation. However, there is less evidence for some mechanisms and NCAs critical for resilience to long-term uncertainty. We present future research questions to ensure NbS can continue to support people and nature in a changing world.

Publication details
Net zero & sustainable development
Research paper
Seddon, Nathalie
Annual Review of Environment and Resources

Latest news

Oxford launches revised Offsetting Principles
Oxford launches revised Offsetting Principles

As part of their net zero strategies, many companies, organisations, cities, regions and financial institutions are relying on voluntary carbon credits to offset their residual emissions. But evidence continues to cast doubt on the integrity of ... Read more

Job Opening at ONZ: Impact and Operations Officer
Job Opening at ONZ: Impact and Operations Officer

Oxford Net Zero is looking for a highly organised and motivated Impact and Operations Officer to join its team. You will be working alongside the Programme Manager, Cath Ibbotson, and the Head of Policy and Partnerships, Kaya Axelsson to ... Read more

Net Zero Regulation Stocktake Publishes Results 
Net Zero Regulation Stocktake Publishes Results 

A new report published by Oxford Net Zero presents a comprehensive ‘stocktake’ of developments in net-zero regulation across the G20 in 2023. It focuses primarily on four regulatory domains: claims and financial products standards, disclosure, ... Read more

See more news and events