News | 25 Aug, 2022

Opening the untapped potential of Nature-based Solutions in the Western Balkans – two national scoping studies available online

The two latest knowledge products on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) present key findings and recommendations on how to enhance climate change adaptation and help reduce the risk of disasters in the Western Balkans. The NbS scoping studies for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia are now available at the IUCN Library portal.

The two scoping studies for NbS map the main climate risks and hazards and their causes, provide a stakeholder analysis of relevant existing projects using Nature-based Solutions, and set out recommendations for deploying those solutions at the national level. Both studies present an overview of ecosystem services and relevant experiences in ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. 

The publications were prepared as part of the ADAPT initiative by two national NbS Field Experts, Tanja Popovicki (Serbia) and Marijana Kapović Solomun (Bosnia and Herzegovina):

Based on information from relevant global databases and consultations with key national stakeholders, the scoping studies pre-identify priority areas for the implementation of NbS and were used for the selection of the NbS pilot sites in Serbia and NbS feasibility study in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the ADAPT initiative. Complementary analysis was conducted, such as the application of the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) in Serbia, which resulted in the identification of sites for NbS intervention in the Gledić Mountains, City of Kraljevo. The proposed intervention involves implementing Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) activities to prevent future flooding and enhance community resilience in the Gledić village and its vicinity.   

NbS BosniaPhoto: Pixabay

“Nature-based Solutions in Serbia present a great untapped potential in combating climate change and bringing positive change within the most vulnerable sectors and ecosystems, namely agriculture, forestry, and water management. Instead of requiring new infrastructure, NbS can complement the country's existing well-developed flood infrastructure, thereby increasing resilience and addressing limitations. The Study demonstrates how NbS can be applied within different sectors and in a variety of contexts. Besides Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) measures that are suitable in rural areas, and will be piloted in the Gledić Mountains, other NbS interventions can to be implemented in urban settlements through green infrastructure. It also reveals the need to build and improve the general knowledge of relevant stakeholders, such as local communities and governments, public enterprises and civil societies on how nature-driven interventions on the ground can be beneficial for both nature and the local population,” explained Tanja Popovicki, author of the Serbian publication.  

“NbS represents a new concept for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The key sectors identified for future NbS interventions in B&H include agriculture, forestry, and water resources. Many challenges exist for introducing NbS at the policy and strategic levels, and this is further amplified by a lack of synchronised, up-to-date and accessible data, especially regarding environmental monitoring. New platforms at the entity levels, coordinated and properly correlated at the state level, will improve the understanding of the risks and level of exposure. It is highly recommended that case studies and the benefits of NbS towards building a common understanding of this approach be presented to the relevant decision makers and practitioners, including a tailor-made minimum framework for understanding NbS at the state and entity levels in B&H,” stresses Marijana Kapovic Solomun, national NbS Field Expert and author of the study for Bosnia and Herzegovina.  

Four scoping studies for the remaining Western Balkan economies that ADAPT operates in are in the final stages of preparation, including final consultations with national stakeholders.

Nature-based Solutions for the climate in the Western Balkans video