Can environmentally sustainable solutions contribute to economic growth? We are optimistic about their potential. Within the recently launched knowledge and innovation initiative NL2120, we are conducting thorough research on the implementation of Nature-based Solutions and their capacity to drive economic growth, both domestically in the Netherlands and internationally. Job Udo (Ecoshape-HKV) together with Petra Dankers (Ecoshape-RHDHV) and Heleen van den Hombergh (IUCN) will tell you all about it in the deep dive at Waterproof 2024.
Job has been addressing water safety issues for nearly a quarter of a century. His career has taken him from Eastern Europe and Asia to Africa, where he has championed innovative solutions in flood risk management. “In recent years, there has been a shift in water management solutions towards greener measures, both in the Netherlands and internationally,” Job explains.
While Nature-based Solutions (NBS) are increasingly being highlighted, actual implementation is lagging behind, primarily due to cost-benefit concerns, but institutional challenges and unfamiliarity with benefits are also hampering implementation. The higher costs and the need for large-scale application to achieve significant effects often lead to a preference for traditional methods. “What is often overlooked are the secondary benefits, such as the reduction of heat stress and the improvement of living environments,” he adds. The NL2120 programme aims to identify and lower the barriers to choosing NBS, thereby unlocking their economic potential in both the Netherlands and internationally.
In this unique knowledge and innovation programme, over 25 partners are committed to integrating, deepening, and enriching the knowledge of Nature-based Solutions. “We focus on the physical-ecological, socio-economic, and governance aspects of water management. In doing so, we aim to accelerate the implementation of NBS in the Netherlands and beyond. It's not just about reducing flood risks, but also about creating broad prosperity and improving biodiversity,” Job emphasises. “Everything developed in the NL2120 programme is applicable for businesses, NGOs, and institutions currently engaged in initiatives abroad.”
“We are currently assessing the knowledge needs, exploring the questions that arise, and the obstacles that parties experience, in order to practically shape the knowledge agenda. In our deep dive, we will collectively identify obstacles and develop strategies to overcome them."
Can environmentally sustainable solutions contribute to economic growth? We believe they can! Join us for this deep dive at Waterproof 2024. Register here.