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Nature-based Solutions for Large Rivers (WLR_S_4)

"Towards Sustainable Rivers With Nature-Based Solutions"

Convenors: Koen Berends (Deltares), Yujun Yi (Beijing Normal University), Melissa Latella (Politecnico di Torino)


Large rivers have been increasingly constrained by human settlement and are important transnational economic corridors in many regions of the world. Rivers are also vital ecological high-ways by connecting habitats, as well as habitats themselves. Finally, rivers are cultural keystones, forming an important part of the historical and current identity of nations and peoples. All these functions are increasingly being stressed by anthropogenic features and climate change, leading to increased flood risk, disturbed sedimentary systems, disconnected ecosystems and conflicting stakes. New ecologically and economically sustainable solutions are desperately needed. Nature Based Solutions (NBS) may be a path to this future, but site-specific solutions and their upscaling require a solid knowledge base and proven precedents.

Session Ethos

This session will cover real-life case studies and proposed initiatives for NbS solutions around the world. These talks will link scientific understanding with practical experience. The talks will cover various aspects around understanding how NbS is used in river engineering and management, including: key knowledge gaps;  ; ecosystem recovery methods for large rivers; pre- and post- intervention monitoring; ‘on the ground’ and ‘hands on’ practical experience of NbS techniques and challenges to implementation; innovative ways of funding to inform cost-benefit analysis; NbS  maintenance; and legal responsibilities. The talks will encompass why initiatives and practices became successful and/or why did initiatives never come to fruition, and how NbS schemes and approaches have evolved over time.