The NBS EduWORLD team from PPMI and Trinity College Dublin has recently hosted an online workshop on nature-based solutions (NBS) titled ”Engaging Stakeholders with Nature-based Solutions: Skills for Resilient, Sustainable Communities”.
This interactive workshop gathered stakeholders to discuss how policymakers and practitioners can best support education on and mainstreaming of nature-based solutions. The event also contributed to the programme of EU Green Week 2023 which revolves around EU environmental policies and prevalent topics, such as zero pollution, biodiversity, and circular economy.
The project team has prepared a summary of the key takeaways from the workshop, readily available here.
Enhancing nature-based solutions through stakeholder engagement, education, and cultural exchange
The event showcased the breadth and scope of nature-based solutions and featured presentations highlighting diverse examples.
One of the lessons learned was that stakeholder engagement plays a crucial role in bolstering the durability and support of nature-based solutions. Landscape architect Ricardo Cilia presented the successful community engagement practices from an engineering firm IRIDRA, utilising co-creation workshops and beyond.
Science educator and researcher Thalia Tsaknia and teacher Sylvia Pirini discussed how nature-based solutions can tackle social and environmental challenges, with schools being the perfect setting for NBS collaboration.
John McNally, the climate action coordinator with Offaly County Council in Ireland, stressed the need for policymakers to prioritise nature-based solutions in education to align with green transition projects.
The presentations also concluded that cultural exchange and local historical knowledge can greatly enhance nature-based solutions to teaching and learning, and that there is a particular need to recognise and appreciate volunteering efforts.
Challenges and opportunities to build nature-based solutions alliances in local communities
The breakout room discussions on biodiversity and climate change revealed the significance of engaging diverse stakeholders, including the private sector, schools, research institutions, NGOs, and policymakers. However, several challenges were identified, such as the lack of awareness and understanding, difficulties in engaging people, high costs, and a sense of disappointment. To effectively address biodiversity challenges, participants emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary skills, effective communication, ecological knowledge, and problem-solving abilities.
In the breakout session centred around socioeconomic issues and health and well-being, strategies for engaging potential stakeholders were highlighted, emphasizing skill-building and knowledge-sharing about nature. Nature-based solutions also present opportunities for fostering intergenerational exchange and bridging different cultures, with seniors' historical knowledge being particularly valuable.
Become a part of the NBS EduWORLD community
NBS EduWORLD is a Horizon Europe project that explores nature-based solutions and education by bringing together researchers, educators, nature-based solutions practitioners, and sports community members with a common goal. The aim is to create engaging and locally relevant educational materials centred on the environmental, social, and professional merits of NBS.