DMPQ-. Discuss how nature based solutions can help in protecting, conserving and restoring our natural environment and build a climate resilient future.

. Five years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the signatories are again in the process of revising their nationally determined contributions as they prepare for COP26 that is scheduled for later this year. In its essence, the Paris Agreement recognises the importance of natural resources in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies (Article 5.2) and further promotes the idea of building resilience of socioeconomic and ecological systems through economic diversification and sustainable management of natural resources (Article 7). Therefore, Nature based solutions (or NbS) that help with this resilience building and resource management were a major focus of the COP 25 meeting held in Madrid. Now, with the extended recognition from international groups like G7, G20 and along with the beginning of the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration in 2021, an even wider scale of discussions of NbS for climate change adaptation strategy at COP26 is envisaged.

Climate change presents one of the greatest challenges to mankind today. While thought of in separate contexts, both cities and natural ecosystems have the most to lose as far as climate change impacts are concerned. The vulnerability of cities in particular is further aggravated by added complexities of land use change, density of population, increased concretisation, social inequalities, poor air quality and several other associated issues. This poses a serious challenge to human health, social well-being, and quality of life, especially for the underprivileged classes of the society. Natural ecosystem losses such loss of biodiversity, depletion of water resources, etc. have similarly been well documented.

To overcome or minimise the impacts of climate change, there has been an emphasis on effective mitigation and adaptation strategies. While mitigation strategies can help in absorbing the atmospheric carbon dioxide and locking it away from the atmosphere, it can often be a time-taking process. In recent years, the idea of local-led adaptation has been widely discussed. Local-led adaptation refers to local communities, local governments acting strong in taking effective decisions to tackle climate change.

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