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Manuscript Submission Deadline 27 October 2022
Manuscript Extension Submission Deadline 27 November 2022

The concept of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and recognition of the critical role ecosystems play in addressing societal challenges are embedded in human history; yet NbS terminology only entered common lexicon in the early 2000s. Increasing levels of attention over the last decade have been directed towards ...

The concept of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and recognition of the critical role ecosystems play in addressing societal challenges are embedded in human history; yet NbS terminology only entered common lexicon in the early 2000s. Increasing levels of attention over the last decade have been directed towards NbS in policy fora and scientific literature, mostly in an attempt to address the underestimated potential of NBS in the context of the current climate crisis.

NbS are defined as actions which are based on the operation of natural processes and implemented to achieve more sustainable and resilient societies. NbS are cost-effective by definition and provide benefits to both biodiversity and human well-being. The defining feature of NbS, therefore, is not whether the deployed solution is de facto natural, but whether natural processes are being employed and managed proactively to achieve desired objectives. NbS can function by conserving or rehabilitating natural ecosystems, as well as by enhancing or recreating natural processes in altered or artificial ecosystems at micro- or macro-scales.

In the context of water resources management, NbS are often deployed to solve or overcome some of the major contemporary water management issues or challenges, such as water security and scarcity. Nonetheless, NbS are also applied routinely in scenarios where no critical local water problem exists, for example, attenuation of pollutants in the subsurface producing the general safe and high quality of abstracted groundwater for water supplies.

A critical aspect of NbS implementation, and arguably of their success, is whether their use is technologically and institutionally supported and whether all stakeholders are engaged in NbS development and deployment. Contrasting perceptions and valuation of the co-benefits by stakeholders can lead to trade-offs and potential conflicts, hampering the deployment of NbS.

The present Research Topic seeks to explore both merits and limitations of NbS to address water challenges globally, ultimately with the aim of producing high-quality science to inform policy and decision-makers of the potential of NbS to address water management challenges across all sectors. The Research Topic aims to solicit submissions on the following themes, although this list is by no means exhaustive:
• Case studies of NbS for sustainable water management;
• Case studies of NbS application and assessment of outcomes;
• NbS assessment frameworks and engagement of varied stakeholders;
• NbS for water-related hazards (infrastructure and societal resilience to climate-induced risks);
• NbS-based resilience of coastal and/or urban regions;
• NbS to optimise ecosystem services (clean drinking water, water flow regulation, water-based recreation and cultural practices);
• NbS to improve water quality and waterbody condition;
• Equitable and sustainable adaptations to climate/global change; and,
• Modelling/mapping of the effectiveness of water-related NbS.

Keywords: Nature-Based Solutions, climate adaptation, urban resilience, global water challenges, ecosystem services, effectiveness, modelling, NBS


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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