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How can we address global water challenges with solutions that not only improve water security but also enhance ecosystem health and support biodiversity?

Nature-based Solutions (NBS) can help achieve all the above. Learn more about how to utilise nature to address water issues through the NBS lectures taking place from April until June, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Partners for Water X Asian Development Bank

By collaborating with nature, we can support biodiversity and ecosystems and foster resilient approaches to water and climate-related challenges. Since June 2023, Partners for Water and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have partnered to promote this approach. This collaboration enables Partners for Water to provide technical support and expert guidance regarding NBS to ADB’s member countries, facilitating the adoption and scaling up of NBS to improve global water security.

NBS Lectures

From April until June, we are offering a range of lectures where you can discover more about utalising NBS to address water challenges and enhance water security. These lectures will cover topics such as urban NBS (wetlands, sponge city, wadi 2.0, tidal parks), mangrove restoration, reuse of local materials in NBS (sediment, (rain) water, etc.) and cultural impact of NBS. You will learn from global experts and international case studies and explore innovative methods, valuable lessons learned and succesfull approaches.

Upcoming lectures

The next lectures will be held on the 15th of May and the 5th of June.

Lecture 15 May

The online NBS lecture of 15 May will focus on (re)use of local materials in NBS, which contributes to minimisation of waste and emissions by slowing and preferably closing material, water, waste and energy loops. NBS that follow the circularity concept can be seen as enablers for the transition towards a circular society, as they bring new approaches and directly connect to biodiversity and ecosystem services that further support the goals of innovation and sustainable approaches.

The examples demonstrated in this episode will focus on reuse of sediment in different forms and reuse of urban rainwater with contributions by:

  • Johan Verlinde (Municipality of Rotterdam), talking about reusing rainwater in the city of Rotterdam
  • Kees Sloff (Deltares), talking about the mini sand motors that tackle erosion pits in the Old Meuse river
  • Marcel van den Heuvel (Van Oord) talking about the clay ripening project in Groningen and its reuse for dike strengthening
  • Rasesh Pokharel (University of Utrecht), talking about transforming port sediment from the port of Rotterdam into a building material with neutral or negative CO2 footprint.

Urban waterbuffer Rotterdam – By Liliane Geerling

Find more information about the lecture topics, as well as the scheduled times and dates here.

The NBS lectures are part of the important partnership agreement between Partners for Water and the Asian Development Bank.

Register for the online lecture

“Choosing long-term, Nature-based Solutions over short-term, economical alternatives is pivotal for our future,” asserts Rosa de Wolf. Biodiversity, together with our climate and water systems, forms our life-support system. All initiatives under the Partners for Water umbrella should strengthen this life-support system. But how do we transcend the abstract nature of this concept? Find the answer by joining the design charrette led by Rosa de Wolf and Nico Tillie from TU Delft.

The expertise of Rosa de Wolf

Rosa’s expertise stems from her background in urban planning and her current role as a PhD candidate in Landscape Architecture at TU Delft. Her work, which began with pioneering designs for arid urban landscapes in Morocco, now focuses on revitalizing over 3,800 industrial sites in the Netherlands into vibrant, multifunctional, and nature-inclusive spaces, a programme financed by the Nationaal Groeifonds (National Growth Fund).

Biodiversity is more than a box to tick

Rosa emphasizes that biodiversity should not be merely an afterthought or a box to tick at a project’s end. Instead, it must be a starting point. “Designing for biodiversity means creating spaces that are not just aesthetically green and pleasant but also resilient to climate change,” she explains. This approach is about understanding and catering to the specific needs of various species, ensuring that our urban environments are as welcoming and nurturing for them as they are for us.

Why now? The urgency of biodiversity

The importance of this topic has never been more evident. With increasing water management challenges in the Netherlands and globally, Rosa stresses the need for immediate action. “Nature requires time to flourish, and if we aim to secure a habitable environment for the next fifty years, we cannot afford to delay,” she insists.

Global perspectives and local impact

Rosa’s involvement with international projects such as Africa Wood Grow in Kenya, offers a wider view on the efficacy of Nature-based Solutions. Another exemplary global initiative is the mangrove plantation in Indonesia, which demonstrates how nature can be instrumental in coastal restoration. These worldwide examples provide concrete evidence of the critical role biodiversity plays in tackling environmental challenges, from soil erosion to effective water management.

The future is green and diverse

Looking forward, Rosa envisions a world where biodiversity is at the forefront of urban design. “The future should see green, diverse spaces as a standard, not an afterthought,” she says. This vision requires a paradigm shift in how we approach urban development, prioritizing long-term ecological benefits over short-term gains.

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