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
Theme(s)
Net zero & sustainable development
Type(s)
Research paper
Author(s)
Seddon, Nathalie
Year(s)
2022
Annual Review of Environment and Resources

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