1) FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Roadmap for Nature-Based Solutions to Fight Climate Change, Strengthen Communities, and Support Local Economies [press release]
Today at COP27 in Egypt, the Biden-Harris Administration is releasing the Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap, an outline of strategic recommendations to put America on a path that will unlock the full potential of nature-based solutions to address climate change, nature loss, and inequity. This marks the first time the U.S. has developed a strategy to scale up nature-based solutions.
To demonstrate how the U.S. is already taking action, the Administration is also announcing new and recent interagency commitments aligned with the roadmap including: agency actions to ensure over $25 billion in infrastructure and climate funding can support nature-based solutions; a new guide for bringing the power of nature to maximize the value and resilience of military bases; and a new technical working group to better account for nature-based options in benefit cost analysis – a powerful tool for federal decisions.
Nature-based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage, or restore natural or modified ecosystems as solutions to societal challenges, like fighting climate change. Examples include protection or conservation of natural areas, reforestation, restoration of marshes or other habitats, or sustainable management of farms, fisheries, or forests. These actions can increase resilience to threats like flooding and extreme heat, and can slow climate change by capturing and storing carbon dioxide. Nature-based solutions play a critical role in the economy, national security, human health, equity, and the fight against climate change.
John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, and chair of President Biden’s National Climate Task Force, unveiled the roadmap at the opening of the U.S. Center at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference of the Parties (COP27). Mr. Podesta encouraged other nations to join the U.S. by taking bold action to invest in nature and its many benefits. . . .
The Roadmap submitted to the National Climate Task Force today calls on expanding the use of nature-based solutions and outlines five strategic areas of focus for the federal government: (1) updating policies, (2) unlocking funding, (3) leading with federal facilities and assets, (4) training the nature-based solutions workforce, and (5) prioritizing research, innovation, knowledge, and adaptive learning that will advance nature-based solutions.
2) The Power of Nature at COP27 [OSTP blog]
The United States is announcing bold steps in our report, “Opportunities to Accelerate Nature-Based Solutions: A Roadmap for Climate Progress, Thriving Nature, Equity and Prosperity.” Launched at COP27, this report marks the first all-of-government look the U.S. has taken at what is needed for nature-based solutions to become go-to options in the fight against climate change, nature loss and inequity.
We are also releasing a companion resource document, the “Nature-Based Solutions Resource Guide: Compendium of Federal Examples, Guidance, Resource Documents, Tools and Technical Assistance.” The resource guide shares 30 Federal examples of nature-based solutions and over 150 resources aimed at those who are ready to take action.
And to complete the trio, the Administration is announcing a number of aligned actions that Federal agencies are taking to scale up nature-based solutions. These three documents signal serious commitment to meet communities where they are to avoid the worst ravages of climate change and to adapt to changes already underway.
The Roadmap articulates five strategic recommendations for U.S. Federal agencies and partners to unlock the full potential of nature-based solutions:
Update policies: The Roadmap recommends updates to permitting, cost-share requirements, benefit cost analysis guidance and planning policies. Agencies are called on to update their policies and guidance to embrace more comprehensive benefit cost methods and remove other unintended barriers to scaling up nature-based solutions.
Unlock funding: Federal agencies can advance nature-based solutions by providing funding and incentives. The Roadmap identifies key opportunities through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act investments to support resilient housing, roads, and communities. Opportunities are also identified to catalyze investments inside and outside of government, and to simplify access to existing Federal funds by increasing coordination and streamlining application processes. Focusing these efforts on historically underserved communities can improve equity and ensure the communities at greatest risk can access these funds.
Lead with Federal facilities and assets: The Roadmap recommends that agencies expand nature-based solutions in all Federal facilities – through green stormwater infrastructure, green roofs, living shorelines, and other approaches. The Roadmap calls on agencies with large land holdings to include nature-based solutions in their planning and management, and where appropriate, engage in co-stewardship and co-management with Tribal Nations to build resilience.
Train the workforce: Implementing nature-based solutions requires a workforce skilled in relevant aspects of community planning, law, finance, ecology, design, engineering and maintenance. The Roadmap calls on agencies to use existing and new programs to help develop these skills, for example, through partnerships with labor, academic, and professional organizations. The seeds of the future workforce also need to be planted by introducing nature-based solution concepts through science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) education.
Prioritize research, innovation, knowledge, and adaptive learning: As the world changes,we must innovate andfill gaps in our understanding of nature-based solutions and when to use them. We need all sources of knowledge for continual learning, and the Roadmap calls on agencies to synthesize existing evidence of effectiveness, close evidence gaps, and work alongside and learn from Indigenous Knowledge holders to enhance or restore nature. There are major opportunities to translate what we already know into best practices for designing and monitoring nature-based solutions, including how best to measure and verify climate benefits.
Scientists have calculated that nature-based solutions could provide up to 30% of the emissions reductions we need. These solutions are also essential for effective adaptation. Now is the time to make a quantum leap in use of nature-based solutions. As we take these messages to big international meetings, as we move aggressively ahead on the home front, we invite everyone to join us to prioritize nature-based solutions as go-to options in fighting climate change, nature loss and inequities. The evidence is clear: look to nature to create the future we want.
3) Nature Based Solutions Roadmap https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Nature-Based-Solutions-Roadmap.pdf
4) Nature-Based Solutions Resource Guide: Compendium of Federal Examples, Guidance, Resource Documents, Tools and Technical Assistance https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Nature-Based-Solutions-Resource-Guide-2022.pdf