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Nature-based Solutions for Coastal Systems (4/4) (IAHR_1_S1.4)

“The potential of Nature-based solutions in coastal adaptation”

Convenors: William Nardin (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science), Pieter Rauwoens (KU Leuven), Davide Vettori (Politecnico di Torino)

This Special Session is open for public abstract submissions


Coastal environments and communities are under unprecedented pressure due to increasing flood risks associated with more frequent and intense storms and sea level rise. In this context traditional coastal protection measures such as seawalls and breakwaters require constant investment and maintenance to remain effective over time, making them economically and ecologically unsustainable. Developing adaptive and flexible alternative measures is a priority for coastal areas, that are at the frontline of adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change.

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are often proposed as being adaptive, flexible and reversible solutions for integrated coastal management challenges and are defined as actively using natural processes to solve these challenges. Despite a recent widespread interest, the potential of NbS in coastal adaptation remains largely untapped. Thus, developing a better understanding of how NbS can contribute to coastal protection while promoting the ecological status of coastal environments and storing carbon is key for building resilience into coastal areas. Once the strengths of NbS have been assessed it will be easier to upscale their practice in coastal management.

Session topics

This session will cover real-life case studies, new management strategies and proposed initiatives for NbS implementation from projects around the world. These talks will link scientific understanding with practical experience. The talks will focus on how NbS can be used in coastal management with emphasis on: i) ‘on the ground’ and ‘hands on’ practical experience and challenges to implementation; ii) the key evidence that is needed to unlock funding; iii) aspects of NbS infrastructure monitoring and maintenance; and iv) legal responsibilities. The talks will encompass why initiatives and practices become successful and/or why they do not come to fruition.

Submit your abstract for this special session (ID: IAHR_1_S1.4) here:
Abstract submission