IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions

Mangroves provide natural protection from climate change impacts. Source: Pixabay.

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The current environmental and societal challenges call for highly efficient and sustainable solutions. With that in mind, The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently unveiled the Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions, intended for use by governments, businesses, investors, communities and NGOs.

The first Standard for Nature-based Solutions

The new IUCN Global Standard provides the first-ever set of benchmarks for nature-based solutions to global challenges. The publication should help governments, business and civil society ensure the effectiveness of nature-based solutions and maximise their potential to help address climate change, biodiversity loss and other societal challenges on a global scale.

The world is looking for durable and effective options to tackle global challenges such as climate change, food and water security, and now, economic recovery from the global pandemic,

said Stewart Maginnis, IUCN’s Global Director for the Nature-based Solutions Group. “For nature-based solutions to fulfil their potential, we must ensure that the actions put in place today bring about the desired benefits for society and biodiversity.”

Download and read the IUCN Global Standard here!

IUCN Nature-based Solutions

IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions

Nature-based Solutions around the world

Nature-based Solutions are defined by IUCN as “actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits”.

Nature-based Solutions have attracted more attention and became more popular over the last years. More than 130 countries have already included these actions – such as reforestation, green infrastructure, sustainable agriculture and aquaculture, or coastal protection – in their national climate plans under the Paris Agreement.

The eight criteria for Nature-based Solutions

However, not all actions labelled as “nature-based solutions” provide the anticipated benefits to both society and biodiversity, and that is why IUCN developed eight criteria and indicators that allow decision-makers to assess the aptness, scale, economic, environmental and social viability of an intervention.

The publication instructs users how to perform a self-assessment with the standard to:

  • Design new Nature-based Solutions;
  • Upscale pilots by identifying gaps and;
  • Verify past projects and future proposals.

In order to consider possible trade-offs, ensure transparency and explore possible linkages to international targets and commitments, the Global Standard includes a user guide and self-assessment tool, identifying areas for improving and learning.

EUROPARC WITH THE RANGERS – CELEBRATING WORLD RANGERS DAY

World Rangers Day 2020 - The International Ranger Federation

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Rangers are a crucial part in world’s nature conservation and a cornerstone of Protected Areas functioning, who often put their life at risk to safeguard the continuity of our natural resources.

On July 31st, World Ranger Day is celebrated internationally to commemorate Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and to celebrate the work Rangers do to protect the planet’s natural treasures and cultural heritage.

From EUROPARC, like every year, we want to join this cause and give thanks to those persons and institution that organise dedicated events in the memory of the Rangers, and we encourage you to commemorate this day.

EUROPARC stands with the World’s Rangers!

Ranger Roll of Honour 2020

Ranger Roll of Honour 2020

How can I support the World Rangers Day?

Any action, from a small mention to a dedicated event, will help promoting the World Rangers Day. From EUROPARC, we encourage you to do any of the following:

  • Acknowledge their work:

Rangers carry out a very important labour for nature conservation all over the world. You can acknowledge their work on any event you organise during this day, such as meetings, webinars, workshops, educational programmes and so on.

Honour the rangers deceased in their line of duty. The International Ranger Federation makes available to download the “Roll of Honour 2020”, a comprehensive list of all the Rangers that have died in the line of duty during this year, and the “2009-2020 Roll of Honour Map”.

  • Raise Funds:

You can support your local rangers by providing them economic support to better carry their work, buy necessary equipment or safeguard them. Furthermore, economic support for the families of the fallen rangers will always be appreciated.

  • Publish content:

You can commemorate this day through your social media channels or any other communication mean with the moto “I/We Stand With The World’s Rangers’, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #WorldRangerDay.

  • Go creative!:

From organising games to thematic activities around the World Rangers Day such as drawing exhibitions, treasure hunts and so on, the posibilities are unlimited. You can photograph or record and share your events with the world in this special day. What about publishing a video with support messages to the Rangers? Here you can find some inspiration in a video message by Dr Jane Goodall for the World Rangers Day 2017.

Promotional Items

You can download a set of promotional materials in different languages to help promoting the World Rangers Day from the he International Ranger Federation website, or by clicking on the links below:

English

French

Spanish

Let’s thank nature this World Nature Conservation Day!

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On World Nature Conservation Day 2020 let’s take a moment to appreciate all nature does for us – and what we can do for nature!

2020 seems to be a year of change. Surely by now it is clear that only if we live in harmony with nature we can guarantee a healthy and green future for everyone. This should motivate us to protect, restore and conserve our natural heritage, because a healthy environment is key to a healthy and sustainable society.

Every living thing on this planet is part of a beautiful ecosystem that supports its life. We too, are part of this system and it gives us everything we need and more, so let’s appreciate it! Who doesn’t enjoy the air we breathe, jumping in crystal clear water on a hot summer day or making a delicious meal with fresh produce? Exactly. So, in order to keep enjoying all nature has to offer us, we must take care of it the way it takes care of us.

Hence on this World Nature Conservation Day, let us thank nature for everything it does for us, by taking better care of it! You can do so through small changes to your day to day life like:

  • Not using single use plastics
  • Taking public transport or going by bike or foot to get around
  • Buying local, seasonal produce
  • Taking shorter showers

Collectively, even the smallest change makes an impact.

By living in harmony with nature, we can ensure that future generations too get to enjoy all nature has to offer.

Protected Areas and nature conservation

However important our small changes are, there would be no nature conservation without Protected Areas. The nature professionals in these places are working for nature on a daily basis. By doing so, they protect not just nature, but all of us by providing a space for nature to restore and develop in an ever-urbanised Europe. From supporting biodiversity to providing us with essential ecosystem services, Protected Areas are laying the groundwork necessary for humans to survive and nature to thrive.

EUROPARC is dedicated to supporting its members help achieve their nature conservation goals and work together on a sustainable future for Europe. Whether it is through programmes like Healthy Parks Healthy People Europe, our many webinars, transboundary cooperation or by representing our member’s interests in Brussels, we want to create sustainable nature, valued by people.

We cannot survive without nature. It is our past, present and future. During this period of change, we have the power to decide what our future will look like, so let’s shape it together! EUROPARC realises the uncertainty that these times bring, but also the many opportunities it provides us with. This is why, at the now online EUROPARC Conference 2020 “OUR NEW FUTURE: HOW READY ARE WE?” we will look at what skills and capacities Protected Areas need in order to champion these changing times. Join us and let’s create our new future, together.

About World Nature Conservation Day

World Nature Conservation Day is celebrated every year on the 28th of July. Its goal is to raise awareness about the importance of natural resources and encourage sustainable use of all that nature provides us, the so called “ecosystem services”, like:

  • Clean water
  • Fresh air
  • Food
  • Regulation services

By highlighting the connection between ourselves and nature, we are more motivated to take better care of our planet.

Find case studies, publications and news relation to ecosystem services, biodiversity, nature conservation and much more in EUROPARC’s Knowledge Hub.

Case Study: “Without Pesticides” Campaign by Nature Park Our

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite from Pexels

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The “Without Pesticides” Campaign by Nature Park Our in Luxembourg is a great example of ways to promote more biodiversity in public spaces.

Imagine; a world with no more pesticides… Having trouble? Nature Park Our in Luxembourg is taking steps to achieve it! The“Without Pesticides” campaign by Nature Park Our has been advocating a total ban on pesticides nationwide in Luxembourg since 2009.

Pesticides in agricultural practices pose a big threat to our biodiversity, however their use in public green spaces tend to get overlooked in the discussion. Often these areas are expected to look “clean” and thus require a lot of upkeep, often with the use of pesticides. To ban pesticides in public green spaces was the starting point of the “Without Pesticides” campaign. Before the campaign was launched, the use of herbicides and other pesticides was common practice in the municipalities for maintaining their green spaces and public areas.

Making the switch

Often, the municipalities were looking to go pesticide-free, but it was a lack of knowledge on alternative methods that held them back. Additionally, there was a general perception that public squares and green spaces had to be “clean”, which corresponded above all to a sterile public space in which there was little room for biodiversity.

Challenges

Initially, the biggest challenge was to convince the municipalities (both councilors and staff) that it is feasible to maintain public areas without pesticides. However, this problem receded into the background with the ban on the use of pesticides in public spaces. The central problem was how to create alternatives by providing pesticide-free planting material and regional seeds, this problem is likely to be resolved in the next few years.

Solutions

Workshop for municipalities employees – Nature Park Our

The pillars of the campaign were and are training and awareness-raising. Through training, new techniques were introduced and through awareness-raising acceptance for more “wilderness” in public spaces was fostered. Additionally, it was important to provide municipalities with materials and sources of supply. This is why a project was initiated to produce regional seeds as up until then, there was none. The following actions were taken:

  • Training courses (machine demonstrations, e.g. to remove vegetation from paving cracks with steam)
  • Workshops on laying out and maintaining near-natural green spaces for municipal employees
  • Taking part in developing seed production for autochthonous seeds
  • Help with, and organizing the supply of, pesticide-free ornamental plants for tubs and flower boxes or ornamental beds
  • Sensitizing the public (press articles, exhibitions and marking the project areas with specially-designed signs)

The successful campaign resulted in the Nature Park municipalities increasingly resorting to the Nature Parks’ expertise to design their green spaces in a way that is close to nature.
Additionally, new parks and gardens are planned and laid out near-naturally right from the start.

For more information visit this website.

You can find this case study in our knowledge hub

EUROPARC Conference 2020

With the new biodiversity strategy 2030 published by the European Commission, restoring biodiversity has moved to the top of the international agenda. Protected Areas must and will play an important role, but what will that role look like exactly?

That is what we want to find out at the online EUROPARC Conference 2020 “OUR NEW FUTURE: HOW READY ARE WE?”. Register now and join THE event for nature professionals in Europe!