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Coalition for Mainstreaming Nature-Based Solutions launched at the UN Water Conference 2023

Published on:
  • Coastal resilience
  • Coastal wetland conservation
  • Integrated delta management

On Thursday, March 23, 2023 the coalition for mainstreaming Nature Based Solutions (NBS) was launched at the New York Water House. By establishing the coalition, the collaborating parties voluntarily commit to the UN Water Action Agenda to mainstream Nature-Based Solutions.

The organizations, including the Asian Development Bank, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), Invest International, Rijkswaterstaat, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Wetlands International (WI) and EcoShape, have joined forces to form the NBS-coalition to take action. The coalition aims to create a breakthrough in the application and implementation of NBS for water-related challenges and to make NBS a widely accepted practice by 2030.

Left to right: Lejla Vandic (RVO), Yang Villa (ADB), Lara Muller (InvestNL), Bart Geenen (WWF), Jane Madgwick (Wetlands International) Erik van Eekelen (EcoShape), Lieske Streefkerk-Arts (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management/Rijkswaterstaat) and André van Ommeren (RVO)


Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands International at the launch of the Coalition for Mainstreaming Nature Based Solutions for water-related challenges: “Healthy wetlands are crucial to tackling the global water crisis and we need action to restore degraded wetlands now!” @RVO


Ambassadors for NBS

The parties in the coalition will voluntarily commit to being an ambassador for NBS thus promoting the inclusion of NBS as an option in the realisation of solutions for societal challenges in the water sector. To do so, they will also present examples of how NBS solutions act as an alternative to traditional infrastructure. Moreover, the parties will join, support or create fundamental and applied research projects to develop NBS as a standard option further. Finally, they will promote, support or co-invest in enablers for the development of NBS, such as a sound business case and technical, ecological, social and system knowledge.

It’s all about collaboration

During the launch on 23 March 2023, all partner expressed their motivation:

Yang Villa, Asian Development Bank: ‘We are very excited to contribute to the goals and objectives of this coalition by sharing knowledge and capacity building. Not only on the technical side but also on the financial side, to unlock the value of NBS in our developing member countries.’

Lara Muller, Invest International said: ‘If there is one thing that NBS also today proved is that it is all about collaboration and multi-disciplinary partnership in order to make it happen. On the ground but also on a higher institutional level. Having financiers, technical people,  everybody with the heart in the right place in order to make this happen.’

Bart Geenen, WWF added: ‘We really believe that this is the way forward and that it starts with building the partnership from the local level up’

Put NBS first among the options for infrastructure

Jane Madgwick, Wetlands International: ‘We are in no doubt that if we are going to move quickly towards a safe and just world, it is necessary to put NBS first amongst the options for infrastructure. The best way to do that is in this kind of collaboration’.

Lieske Streefkerk-Arts, representing the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management /Rijkswaterstaat added: ‘We’ve heard great examples of NBS this afternoon, it’s also a topic that Rijkswaterstaat has already been working on for a long time. We are really happy to commit ourselves to the coalition and to work together to mainstream NBS.’

André van Ommeren, of RVO concluded: ‘As we learned this afternoon, it is all about commitment, working together over sectors, integration, and for that you need different partners, standing here on the stage. We would like to play a role in bringing these partners together, we are looking forward to the future and bringing NBS to the next stage.’

Action and follow-up

The participants join forces in a productive coalition working towards mainstreaming NBS. The launch of the coalition is a starting point. Is your organization interested in contributing to mainstreaming NBS? Register your interest here.

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