Christos FRAGAKIS,Commission européenne DG Recherche et Innovation


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Forum Loire & affluents Au coeur de l'Europe des fleuves 10 décembre 2014 Echange d’expériences et transfert de savoir-faire en matière de coopération sur la gestion intégrée des bassins fluviaux.


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Nature-Based Solutions to address societal challenges Towards a new EU R&I policy framework:

Nature-Based Solutions to address societal challenges Towards a new EU R&I policy framework Christos Fragakis, Deputy Head of Unit Sustainable Management of Natural Resources DG Research & Innovation European Commission Forum Loire & affluents Au cœur de l'Europe des fleuves Adaptation aux impacts du changement climatique

Societal challenges to be addressed:

Societal challenges to be addressed Society faces multiple challenges (e.g. climate change, food security, degradation of ecosystems and biodiversity loss, air and water quality, droughts, heat island effects, risks of floods and hazards etc.) These challenges have serious impacts on the economy, natural capital, human health and well-being They are likely to be further exacerbated in the future due to climate and global changes, demographic changes and increasing urbanization 2


Floods 3 Between 1998 and 2009 , floods in Europe have caused some 1126 deaths , the displacement of about half a million people and at least €52 billion in insured economic losses (Source: EEA) Despite huge investments, built/grey infrastructures by themselves , though essential in many cases, cannot provide sustainable solutions Need for more systemic and s ustainable solutions that can be found by looking to nature for "proof-of-concept" and to R&I for demonstration, innovative design and optimal implementation

Grey infrastructure: Inherent weaknesses:

Grey infrastructure: Inherent weaknesses Built or 'grey' infrastructures have been traditionally used to address these challenges They are costly , single-purpose solutions, usually hostile to biodiversity , they degrade ecosystems and ES , create “lock-in” situations, depreciate with time , lack internal resilience and flexibility to adapt to projected environmental changes (e.g. climate change, sea level rise, higher precipitation and temperature etc.); Dykes in rivers : fragment riparian habitats, prevent interactions between water body and ecosystems, degrade freshwater ecology etc. Dams : prevent sediment/organic matter transport, cause ecosystem degradation, beach erosion Coastal protection structures : protect one stretch of the coast, cause erosion of adjacent beaches 4

Need for a new paradigm:

Need for a new paradigm Foster mindset shift of authorities, relevant stakeholders and societal actors to consider deployment of Nature-based solutions as sustainable and cost-effective solutions to improve society's economic, social and environmental resilience , particularly in urban areas; Examples flooding : consider restoring wetlands and/or reconnecting rivers with flooplains instead of dikes OR optimal hybrid solutions coast protection against erosion: conserve sand dunes, coral reefs, beach nourishment instead of sea walls , OR optimal hybrid solutions 5

Defining Nature-Based Solutions:

Defining Nature-Based Solutions Solutions inspired from and supported by nature. They: provide simultaneously benefits for environment, society and economy and increase resilience; are cost effective and resource efficient ; are multi-purpose , systemic and locally attuned; are replicable and communicable; are resilient and adaptable to environmental changes; appreciate with time; are "engineered" solutions, based on proactively introduced new ecosystems 6

What has prevented NBS wide deployment?:

What has prevented NBS wide deployment? Evidence about their cost-effectiveness and economic viability exist but fragmented Robust EU-wide evidence and solid knowledge base is needed Methodologies are needed to value and factor-in all their benefits and co-benefits in cost-benefit analysis to enable a more transparent and fair comparison against grey infrastructure and assess their competitive advantages Ex. natural flood plains along river-banks for flood protection; Co-benefits: filtering of water, stabilizing of water table, nutrients retention, storage of CO2, timber provision and linking up natural habitats 7

A new R&I policy initiative on NBS:

A new R&I policy initiative on NBS 8 A new and ambitious two-fold EU R&I policy framework to promote Nature-Based solutions and turn challenges into innovation opportunities generating new local jobs and growth , stimulate new investments and markets by fostering both demand and supply : "Innovating Cities with Nature": foster systemic deployment through social innovation (e.g. participatory approaches and community-based initiatives) and integration of Nature-Based Solutions into the overall urban planning to resolve trade-offs between nature, society and the economy; "Enhance resilience in rural and natural areas": NBS to build territorial, socio-economic and ecological resilience and coherence to cope with climate change, natural hazards and ecosystem degradation; Relevant Juncker's Political Guidelines: 'A new boost for Jobs, Growth and Investment ', 'A resilient Energy Union with a forward looking climate change policy' and 'A Stronger Global Actor'

"Re-naturing cities" in "Smart cities and communities with NBS":

"Re-naturing cities" in "Smart cities and communities with NBS" - Cities ideal "hubs" of innovation and "stewards" of multiple value creation - Nature-Based Solutions can make cities more sustainable, liveable and attractive for investments and businesses - Foster systemic and trans-disciplinary approaches allowing for co-designing, co-creating, co-implementing and co-assessing of Nature-Based Solutions with all relevant stakeholders 9

Nature–Based Solutions for urban flooding:

Nature–Based Solutions for urban flooding New York City to prevent sewage overflow from stormwater : - For pipe and tank improvements in sewage system would cost US$6.8 billion ; Investing in nature-based solutions (e.g. green roofs, streets and sidewalks) as surface water retention to reduce stormwater runoff would cost US$5.3 billion (+ co-benefits in air quality, water qualtity , recreation, health, well being , recreation …) 10

City of Arnsberg, Germany:

City of Arnsberg, Germany Challenge : F looding by the small streams in the city (2007) Solution : R enaturing of rivers and streams Co- benefits Increased biodiversity Improvement of the city landscape Enhanced recreational value (and revenue from tourism) for the city Underpinning implementation and achievement of WFD objectives Examples across the EU…

Room for the River, the Netherlands:

Room for the River, the Netherlands Challenge : High cost of expanding grey infrastructure for flood protection Solution : Integrated spatial plan with restoration of floodplains & introduction of green elements Co-benefits Master landscaping Improvement of overall environmental conditions Examples across the EU…

R&I can make a difference (ii):

R&I can make a difference (ii) Universities acting beyond the traditional role and becoming " civic/ entrepreneurial universities" providing a knowledge base, developing the R&I profile and helping to shape the smart specialisation strategies of the city/region Private sector leveraging funding, performing R&I, providing products and services – and jobs Engagement of end-users, public authorities, planners and service providers = the " quadruple helix " of universities, private sector, policy makers, civil society.

Implementation under Horizon 2020:

Implementation under Horizon 2020 Consolidation of an EU R&I policy framework, agenda and roadmap for Nature-based solutions and re- naturing cities underway ; Establishment of multiple stakeholders dialogue platform as " networks of good practices" ; Mapping and networking of existing initiatives on Nature-Based Solutions in Europe and beyond; Set-up of large scale demonstration projects as 'living labs' to provide EU-wide evidence on cost-effectiveness , enabling scaled-up , systemic , European-wide deployment nature-based solutions and stimulate market development (both demand and supply) Test new means of collaboration, financing and governance ( public private partnerships, innovative financing , business and governance models, innovative public procurement , inducement prices , social innovation etc .) Communication to Council and EP in 2016; 14

Major priorities identified by the EG:

Major priorities identified by the EG Sustainable urbanisation Restoration of degraded ecosystems Climate change adaptation & mitigation Improved risk management & resilience Source: Expert Group on Nature-Based Solutions 15

Stakeholder consultation and engagement:

Stakeholder consultation and engagement Dedicated Expert Group to assist us in defining policy agenda and roadmap for Nature-based solutions and re- naturing cities; Several awareness raising events, including with EP Inter-group on "Climate Action, Biodiversity and Sustainable development"; Two conferences on re- naturing cities under GR and IT presidency; Stakeholder e-consultation on 12 November 2014 on all four priorities; Stakeholders Workshop ‘Nature Based Solutions and Renaturing Cities’, Brussels, 8 December 2014; Engagement and consultation of citizens on re- naturing cities (qualitative & quantitative studies by Eurobarometer ); Call for expressions of interest; 16

Find out more and join us…:

Find out more and join us… To be informed about HORIZON 2020 : To be informed about the European Research Area http :// christos.fragakis @

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