Urban communities worldwide depend on nature for the provision of essential services and for their well-being. Nature-based solutions (NBS) is a common term used to describe the utilization of nature and the natural functions of healthy ecosystems (natural assets) to provide solutions and services for improved climate resilience, sustainability and human well-being. These solutions can address some of the most pressing and systemic development challenges cities are facing today. Nature-based solutions provide cumulative economic and social benefits to urban communities. Through applying NBS, new urban planning approaches and measures are achieved, enabling communities to access the multiple benefits and services healthy functioning ecosystems provide.
Parties are committed to effectively manage biodiversity and recognize the role urban environments play in conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources. A clear opportunity for local and subnational governments exist to deepen collaboration with, and seek further support from, Parties for the development and advancement of biodiversity and ecosystem service strategies and action plans as supported for instance by Legal Paper 5 (UNEP/CBD/SBI/1/L.5). Legal Paper 12 (UNEP/CBD/SBI/1/L.12) on strategic actions to enhance implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 including the mainstreaming of biodiversity within and across sectors, opens opportunities for joint projects enabling NBS at sub-national level. Nature-based solutions for Thriving Urban Communities will explore emerging city-level and subnational advances and partnerships over the last decade and showcase current innovation for mainstreaming NBS into urban planning and development frameworks.