Nature-based Solutions for Disaster and Climate Resilience

What are ‘Nature-based solutions’, or NbS? How can they help build resilience to disasters and climate change impacts? Why is NbS relevant? How can I apply NbS in my work and everyday life?


SDG11: Sustainable cities and communities
SDG13: Climate action
Environment, Disaster Risk Reduction
climate change adaptation
climate resilience
disaster risk reduction
ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction

Nature offers many solutions to reduce the impacts of disasters and climate change, such as forests help stabilize slopes, sand dunes help protect coastlines, and wetlands help to buffer excess rainwater. These so-called ‘Nature- based solutions’ (NbS) are an important piece in the puzzle to building the resilience of households and communities to an ever-increasing number of disaster events around the world.

For years, experience and evidence on NbS from around the world has been growing. But many people – from policy makers, through to engineers and businesses – don't yet know how NbS can help them solve the challenges they’re facing from events like floods, heatwaves, or droughts. These events affect the lives of millions of people every year.

Who is the course aimed at? Nature-based solutions are relevant to everyone, and we all benefit from seeing them applied. With this in mind, the course is designed to be accessible to everyone, no matter your background.


Nathalie Doswald, Eco-DRR expert, United Nations Environment Programme

Mikhail Fernandes, Communications and Eco-DRR Knowledge Network Consultant, United Nations Environment Programme

Xinyue Gu, Communications Officer, United Nations Environment Programme

Download Syllabus

Target Audience

The course is open to everyone who would like to deepen their knowledge of the application of NbS and are targeted at specific groups, namely:

  1. Practitioners: Risk reduction & climate change experts, environmental managers, NGOs, and local government.
  2. Policy makers: Decision makers at international, national, local and levels.
  3. Engineers & Urban planners: Including architects, geographers and urban designers.
  4. Businesses: Including banking, insurance, and CSR.
  5. Youth: Parents, teachers and children.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe how Nature-based Solutions can be applied in enhancing resilience to disasters and climate change, whether you are a youth leader, practitioner, policymaker, engineer or business owner.
  • Indicate how human activities are interlinked with ecological systems and main tools and approaches for applying Nature-based Solutions to reducing disaster and climate risks.
  • Explain how policymakers are including Nature as a solution in policy processes for reducing disaster and climate risks.
  • Explain how practitioners are applying Nature-based Solutions for reducing risks of natural hazards by investing in restoration and protection.
  • Describe green infrastructure and designing with nature as a viable complement to grey engineered protection structures for reducing impacts of disaster events.
  • Discuss what young people and teachers, policymakers, practitioners, businesses and engineers can do to get involved in our race against the climate emergency.