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Initiative for scaling up Building with Nature in Asia to transform water engineering sector launched at Climate Action Summit

Published on:
  • Coastal resilience
  • Integrated delta management

At the Climate Action Summit in New York global leaders have been asked to present coalitions and initiatives that accelerate climate action. Indonesia, Wetlands International and EcoShape announced their joint leadership and intention to collaborate with other Asian countries to ‘Accelerate Adaptation through Building with Nature in Asia’ – helping transform the water engineering sector to work with nature rather than against it.

‘The Building with Nature Asia’ initiative explores possibilities for the implementation of Building with Nature in 15 landscapes in five countries by 2030, boosting the resilience of 30 million people. The Global Commission on Adaptation will work with Indonesia and other interested countries to shape this into a commitment to their Nature-based Solutions Action Track.

Building with Nature is a new way of planning, designing and realising infrastructure for coastal, river and delta management by leveraging the services delivered by nature to protect people from increasing weather events the climate crisis is bringing.

A Shared Ambition on ‘Accelerating Adaptation through Building with Nature in Asia’ was presented by EcoShape in collaboration with Wetlands International during the ‘Building a Resilient Future’ event on 22 September in New York, convened by the Global Resilience Partnership. Indonesia is pioneering on Building with Nature as one of 14 pilot projects so far in a pre-competitive collaboration between NGO’s, public, private and knowledge partners under EcoShape’s Building with Nature Innovation platform. Building on its experience, Indonesia has voiced ambition to champion the approach and share knowledge and experiences with other countries in Asia.

During an international workshop in July 2019, Indonesia, The Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, India, China already expressed a keen interest in such collaboration on Building with Nature between countries and identified tangible opportunities for implementation at scale. These countries are all ranked highly vulnerable to water-related climate impacts.

The Indonesia flagship project, coordinated by Wetlands International, EcoShape and the Indonesian government[i] is securing eroding coastlines in Java by creating favourable conditions for the return of the mangrove system along with sustainable practices for aquaculture. It has already led to replication in 14 districts and spin-offs in the wider region. The project was included as great example in GCA’s flagship report, which was released on 10 September.

Nature-based solutions require innovative collaborations and integrated approaches to change the current way nature is planned and utilised in development. The initiative aims to mobilise public and private actors in a dedicated Asian Building with Nature Platform to stimulate multi-sectoral and regional collaboration to overcome barriers to the adoption of the approach across Asia.


[i] Building with Nature Indonesia is a programme by EcoshapeWetlands International, the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), and the Ministry of Public Works and Human Settlement (PU), supported by supported by the Dutch Sustainable Water Fund and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). For more information: 

Shared Ambition on Accelerating Adaptation through Building with Nature in Asia