Japan Water Forum, Secretariat of NoWNET, organized a webinar entitled “Co-Benefits of Implementing NBS for Water Resources and Flood Risk Management” with NoWNET members as a part of Stockholm World Water Week (WWWeek) at Home.
“Co-Benefits of Implementing NBS for Water Resources and Flood Risk Management”
Date and time
27th August 2020 17:00 -18:00, Japan time
Session recording on YouTube
This webinar shared practices and lessons learned from the NoWNET members’ countries, especially from Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Japan and the Republic of Korea, with regards to Nature-based Solutions (NBS) in addressing water-related disaster risks from river flooding and urban flooding, to overcome existing and future challenges and for scaling-up. The discussion included how to:
- transpose the theory of the NBS to practices on the ground, in terms of technical and institutional operations, multi-stakeholders’ participation, as well as the application of the socio, economic, and environmental cost & benefit analysis,
- identify and manage interactions between water, energy, land use, and ecosystems,
- apply NBS to crowded areas, and
- evaluate co-benefits and trade-off methods to assist in decision-making.
In the panel discussion, Mr. Ravi Narayanan moderated the discussion in relation with the presentation of each speaker. The speakers specifically discussed the challenges and opportunities to address NBSs within a crowded environment, such as urban areas, since they typically require large surfaces of land and space. Following the core question, the panelists also discussed:
- how to enhance incentives to implement NBS in these areas,
- whether and how we need to change the overall systems as a number of substantial catastrophes have happened frequently, and how to deal with the trade-offs between upstream and downstream,
- what methodology can be used to calculate environmental and ecological benefits and costs, and how these can be effectively used for communication with multi-stakeholders in order to move forward.
In conclusion, the lessons from the cases that speakers brought to us re-confirm the necessity to think through all the effects carefully, namely, the different effects over time on the ground, even for NBSs that have been successfully implemented elsewhere. The key for the application of NBS is how we can demonstrate the co-benefits and how we can communicate them well using quantitative analysis. It involves understanding the co-benefits and how the trade-offs among the different stakeholders and across different values were dealt with. With the case of the Netherlands for instance, we found out that pricing is not the key problem in determining ecosystem benefits in practice. The key is the quantification of the socio-economic value and the identification of an appropriate price tag for each ecosystem function. In addition, it is also critical to determine how to best use these outcomes for communicating with multi-stakeholders to obtain optimal win-win solutions. It is necessary to adopt an NBS design from which everyone can gain benefits. Some compensations and support to the landowners and people downstream are also needed to deal with several conflicts of interests.
Through the cases presented by 5 speakers, we were able to see two issues pertaining to the application of NBS, namely:
- Making the case requires a clear economic and social analysis.
- Making it happen on the ground requires good communication skills and partnerships since several parties will be involved.
The question remains, what happens when we apply NBS in very densely populated areas?
The next phase of NoWNET aims to produce case studies on the ways to promote NBS for crowded areas, such as in over-populated urban areas, with an analysis of what works and where, and under what conditions the NBS failed.
Outcomes of the session
The number of participants: 259 people registered, and 158 people actually joined this session. During the webinar, we received a number of questions from the audience.
▼The presentation documents and the speaker’s answers to the questions from the audience are available at following website▼
▼The webinar’s final report is available here▼
10:00 – 10:02
Introduction of the NoWNET and this session
10:02 – 10:27
Cases from NoWNET member countries
– Republic of Korea:
Panel Discussion & Interaction with the audience
10:42 – 10:45
Summary and Wrap up
(Reported by Yumiko Asayama, Manager)