Nature-Based Solutions for Water Management in the Peri-Urban

Assessment Framework

Nature Based Solutions (NBS) present an immense potential to contribute to sustainable development. A number of frameworks have been proposed in the literature to evaluate the benefits of NBS projects. However, the majority of frameworks fail to address the full potential of NBS, neglecting long-term results, unintended consequences, co-benefits, and NBS contributions to achieving global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enshrined in the Agenda 2030.

Moreover, the existing frameworks fail to link extensively to the current and imminent water-related challenges resulting from different kinds of pressures such as economic development and climate change. Finally, a framework linking NBS to water-related challenges in the peri-urban context is conspicuous by its absence.

Project NATWIP has taken up the task of addressing the above gaps by creating an innovative framework which can be applied in the planning and evaluation stages of NBS for water management in the peri-urban. The framework is currently being developed and will consider three main stages of an NBS project, namely, the spatial context, NBS implementation and adaptation processes, and the NBS results, co-benefits, and impacts, all assessed from the perspectives of social, economic and ecological sustainability.

For the social sustainability dimension, the following kinds of indicators are being considered: Political, Administrative, Collaborative and Integrated approach, Societal, and Cultural. For economic sustainability, Financial resources and Cost-effectiveness are among the indicator categories considered. Finally, for the ecological dimension, the kinds of indicators considered are: Ecosystem services, Water quality and quantity, and Climate.

The assessment framework being developed in NATWIP will have a flexible structure with the possibility of being applied to different countries, landscapes, and contexts, facilitating comparability between different NBS interventions for water in the peri-urban.

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