What are nature-based solutions?

Nature-based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore ecosystems with both human well-being and biodiversity benefits. They are critical to climate and biodiversity and research indicates can provide over one-third of the climate mitigation needed between now and 2030 to stabilize warming to below 2 °C. The UN Global Compact indicates NBS can capture 10-12 gigatons of CO2 per year.

Examples include:

MANGROVES
The protection/ restoration of mangroves along coastlines. Mangroves moderate the impact of waves and wind on coastal settlements or cities and sequester CO2. They also provide safe nurseries for marine life.
GREEN ROOFS
Green roofs are nature-based solutions inside acity. These can be used to moderate the impact of high temperature, capture stormwater, abate pollution, and act as carbon sinks while enhancing biodiversity.

Other Examples:

Country park
To harvest rain water and sequester CO2
Tree planting
To clean the air and filter pollution
Regreening water
To buffer noise and filter pollution
Bioswales
To store rain water in streets and lower the flood risk
Nutrient-cycling
For food production in cities and reduce food import
Room for rivers
To alleviate floods and to safe cities from hazards

Where are we now

Hong Kong has beautiful coastal reefs, wetlands and mangroves, all of which already play an important role in protecting our city. Initial assessments show there is strong potential to further enhance these systems. In addition, our country parks and urban green space are also important resilience enhancing assets for Hong Kong.

How nature-based solutions can help climate mitigation and adaptation

In addition to storing carbon, nature-based systems can help protect us against extreme weather. This function will become even more important over time as sea levels continue to rise and Hong Kong experiences more intense climatic events.

Hong Kong has a phenomenal amount of coastline, which is covered by coastal reefs, wetlands and mangroves. Among other nature capitals, our coastline has the highest potential to reinforce our city’s climate resilience and water management capability. We need to identify strategic locations where nature-based systems could be restored, enhanced or protected to help build our city’s resilience.

Nature-based solutions can also help us reintroduce natural processes and functions in our built environment to recover, recreate or reinvent nature in urban landscapes. We need to reimagine the relationship between humans and natural elements, processes and functions.

Examples of potential benefits of Nature-based solutions for water management:

Facilitate greater sedimentation near the shore and thus reduce the impact of sea-level rise and wind-driven storm surges.
Protect coastlines from wave action during storms.
Absorb carbon and provide long-term storage, helping to offset emissions from other sectors of our economy.
Act as biodiversity nurseries to aid in the recovery of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife in HK and the GBA, including increasing the availability of fish for food.
Provide additional gainful employment and economic activity.

THE CHANGE WE NEED

Changes are necessary across Government, Commercial and Individual level, please scroll down to explore how we can all contribute.

Government

Engage in actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems.

Commercial

Shape and encourage demand for ecosystem services and green infrastructure.

Individuals

Engage and volunteer in the co-management of ecosystem-services.

Your Carbon Footprint

Just as walking on sand leaves a footprint, burning fuel for human activity leaves greenhouse gases in the air, creating a carbon footprint. Everything we have, use, and consume, from food to clothes to transportation, is intimately linked to Hong Kong’s overall emissions figure.

According to WWF, if everyone on Earth led the same lifestyle as we do in Hong Kong, 4.2 Earths would be required to fulfil our resource need.