The concept of NBS has been included in the funding priorities of the EU Commission in terms of research and investments - from H2020 and LIFE funding programme until its integration within the EIB funding instruments. However, this new multifaceted concept has not yet been comprehensively integrated within the current EU legislation.
At the same time, MS’, regions and cities are starting to include more and more NBS in their strategies and urban planning laws and instruments (national and regional laws and minimum legal requirements, urban plans and planning instruments, etc.), recognising the benefits of NBS for sustainable and effective urban management. Despite growing interest and need for NBS, the concept still remains ill-defined and misunderstood, and more concrete guidance for implementation in terms of targets is needed. Overall, there are the needs for a more coherent inclusion of the NBS concept within existing EU regulations.
Based on the review of EU instruments and legislation available, the Partnership believes that there is a need to better integrate NBS within existing directives and other existing EU-level legislation and documents. In particular, the Partnership will have a closer look at the Flood Directive, which hardly mentions green infrastructure, at the EU Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change and at the Strategic Environmental Assessment, also in accordance with Action 1 of this Action Plan. In particular, considering the urban focus of the Partnership, reference to the “urban environment” will be investigated to better understand how it could be integrated into EU documents.
Moreover, national and regional authorities and cities of the partnership intend to better understand to which level NBS has already been included and integrated into their national or local strategies (climate adaptation, health in cities, etc.) and to what extent the existing minimum legal requirements already take NBS benefits into consideration, or the need to further integrate NBS. Moreover, in accordance with Action 12 on NBS target and indicators, cities will assess the possibility of defining concrete targets in terms of climate change adaptation and healthier cities and the pathway to reach those.
EU level: Recommendations for the EU Commission on the integration of NBS’ within existing Directives and other EU-level documents, through:
- Request to EKLIPSE to open a call for experts to produce a report on “NBS integration into EU current legislation and recommendations to improve it”.
- Organise workshops at national and local levels.
National, regional and city level: The objective of this action is to gather a better overview of the local regulative framework for NBS and improve it, through (based on selected case studies):
- Providing an overview of existing local strategies where NBS play or could play an important role;
- Providing an overview of existing minimum legal requirement on NBS in their urban plans and building regulations;
- Proposing better integration of NBS into existing strategies (in terms of potential target and actions to achieve those) and into minimum legal requirements.
- Sustainable Use of Land and Nature-Based Solutions Partnership full Draft Action Plan
- Draft Action 1: INCLUDING LAND TAKE IN IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES
- Draft Action 2: FINANCING MODELS FOR BROWNFIELD DEVELOPMENT
- Draft Action 3: IDENTIFYING AND MANAGING UNDER-USED LAND
- Draft Action 4: INDICATORS OF LAND TAKE
- Draft Action 5: PROMOTING FUA COOPERATION AS A TOOL TO MITIGATE URBAN SPRAWL
- Draft Action 7.1: PREPARE AN NBS FUNDING GUIDE TO ASSIST CITIES IN ACCESSING FUNDING FOR NBS PROJECTS
- Draft Action 7.2: OVERCOMING THE BIAS FOR EXISTING SOLUTIONS THROUGH NBS FINANCIAL INCENTIVES MAINSTREAMING
- Draft Action 8: AWARENESS RAISING IN THE AREAS OF NBS AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF LAND (URBAN SPRAWL)
- Draft Action 9: AGREEING ON COMMON TARGETS AND INDICATORS FOR NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS, URBAN GREEN STRUCTURE, BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN CITIES