What is the NbS Approach?

Recent years have seen the concept of “Nature-based Solutions (NbS)” come increasingly into the spotlight in the quest for a sustainable society in which no-one is left behind.

NbS is defined 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” (IUCN 2016).

JICA has been cooperating with Africa in the natural environment sector for many years and accumulated a wealth of collectively nurtured wisdom.  In the hope that the array of different experiences and knowledge co-created by Japan and Africa can help in handling natural resource management issues in Africa, JICA launched a new program called “Knowledge Program: Nature-based Solutions toward a Resilient and Prosperous Africa.” This program identifies and introduces the co-created knowledge as an effective approach for NbS (hereinafter referred to as an “NbS approach”).

The Figure describes the four challenges facing African countries and how the NbS approach can support these challenges and bring global initiatives like SDGs to fruition.

JICA offers insights into how sustainable natural resource management policies can be developed and implemented through the NbS approach.  Accordingly, JICA aims to contribute further to Africa’s future efforts to address issues like the SDGs, climate change and ecosystem restoration.