Over the last three years, NetworkNature has served as a platform to maximise opportunities for the spread and uptake of nature-based solutions. NetworkNature has now entered into a new era, officially becoming NetworkNaturePLUS. At a successful meeting in Brussels, a diverse group of environmental advocates, artists, landscape architects, science communicators, and business experts gathered to officially kick-off the new Horizon Europe project. In its new iteration, ambitions are high to continue previous efforts, while strengthening alignment with the ambitions of the European Green Deal. NetworkNaturePLUS welcomes on board six new partners: Altamira Sustainable Finance, Horizon Nua, Institute for European Environmental Policy(IEEP), The Nature of Cities(TNOC), Trinity College Dublin, (TCD) and UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) , who offer top expertise in areas such NbS finance, policy and the humanities.
Private sector involvement and sustainable blended finance were among topics explored as means to extend sustainability efforts beyond traditional boundaries. Indeed, expertise in sustainable finance will be crucial to further mobilise initiatives for Nature-based Solutions. Beyond finance, those present recognised the importance of local action and the crucial role that the NbS hubs and NbS task forces will play in activating regions and topical experts for the advancement of Nature-based Solutions. For successful implementation of NbS, the human element is just as important as finance and policy. Therefore, justice and social inclusion were also top of the agenda. With an expertise in community art and social justice, The Nature of Cities added a unique element to the consortium mix and will surely advance creative applications of tools for environmental awareness raising in the years to come.
Over the next four years, NetworkNaturePLUS aims to fill gaps in four core areas of NbS research, identified in the European Roadmap to 2030 for Research and Innovation on Nature-based Solutions. NetworkNaturePLUS activities will be framed by five priority policy themes to be identified and drafted in a policy roadmap 2023-2030 by the Institute for European Environmental Policy. It will further serve as a platform to promote results and services of the growing H2020 and Horizon European NbS project portfolio, as well as up-to-date and relevant resources for Nature-based Solutions. The next four years will require the consortium to further develop strategies for engaging with investors, both at the practitioner and political levels to address political and environmental challenges.
The kick off event inaugurated the next stage of the NetworkNature platform, bringing together a dynamic community that will work to address environmental challenges through innovative NbS with adaptability, inclusivity, and practical implementation in mind.