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Combatting extreme weather with nature-based solutions

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World leaders gather yearly at the climate summit to discuss actions that can contribute to the fight against natural disasters and the climate crisis. To support the political discussions, the EU has initiated a series of side events to highlight research, innovation, and activities that will help meet the climate goals in the Paris Agreement.

Combatting extreme weather: are nature-based solutions ready to tackle the challenge?
Combatting extreme weather: are nature-based solutions ready to tackle the challenge?

On Friday, November the 11th (11:30-12:30 CET), Bjørn Kalsnes, senior specialist in climate adaption at NGI, will moderate one of the side events together with Amanda DiBiagio, project engineer in the Section Slope Stability and Risk Assessment and Ph.D. candidate in the field of nature-based solutions at NGI. The side event will focus on nature-based solutions; "Combatting extreme weather: are nature-based solutions ready to tackle the challenge?". Examples of research and implementation of nature-based solutions from Europe and across the globe with being showcased. Events are available online to those registered.

You can registrate for the session here.

World leaders united

The impacts of climate change, as a result of human activities, have been an international priority since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established an environmental treaty. This treaty for combating climate change was signed by 154 states at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Since 1995, the signing countries, referred to as parties to the convention, have met annually in Conferences of the Parties, now for the 27th time in a row (COP27) to assess the progress in addressing climate change. This November, world leaders, politicians, and experts will gather in Egypt for the two-week COP27 summit to discuss the climate crisis on a global level.

To support the political discussions, the EU has taken the initiative to organize side events to highlight relevant topics and activities, including research and innovation, taking place to tackle climate change and meet the climate goals in the Paris Agreement.

Visualization of research and practical examples

Since 2018 NGI has coordinated the EU HORIZON 2020 Research and Innovation Action project PHUSICOS, which demonstrates how natural-based solutions provide robust, sustainable, and cost-effective measures for reducing the risk of extreme weather events in rural mountain landscapes. NGI has facilitated the assessment and selection of nature-based solutions related to agriculture in Italy, slope stabilization in the Pyrenees, and reducing the impacts of flood and erosion in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway.

As the project is getting close to completion next year, outputs to include natural-based solution implementations, long-term monitoring, stakeholder involvement, and governance strategies are mature for dissemination and exploitation.

– I am, of course, very proud that our research, expertise, and involvement are considered so vital that it has been included in the EU's COP27 side event. Through this, we can facilitate and support increased understanding and sustainable solutions for climate adaptation, says Dr. Amy Oen, PHUSICOS Project coordinator and technical expert in the Section Climate Adaptation and Hydrodynamics at NGI.

Using natural solutions instead of traditional grey engineering structures

Climate change is expected to result in more frequent and more intense extreme weather events. An increase in these forces of nature will impact where we live and travel, such as infrastructure or cultivated land. The impacts of these events can be reduced by using natural-based solutions.

Natural-based solutions can prevent or reduce the impacts of stormwater, floods, landslides, and erosion, and thus help to make us better equipped to withstand future events. For example, planting vegetation to reduce the speed of river water, reduce erosion or improve infiltration, or using natural basins to create space for overflowing water. 

– The side event, which the EU coordinates has several sessions, including climate adaptation. Here we have the opportunity to present our research and implementation of nature-based solutions through three invited speakers, says Oen.

She says that natural-based solutions are recognized globally as an umbrella concept that underpins climate adaptation measures for climate-resilient infrastructure, while at the same time focusing on ecosystems and the protection of biodiversity.

Contributors sharing experiences of nature-based solutions at COP27

On Friday, November the 11th (11:30-12:30 CET), you can watch the side event; "Combatting extreme weather: are nature-based solutions ready to tackle the challenge?". During this session, you will get examples of research and implementation of nature-based solutions from Europe and across the globe. Here is a short presentation of what you can expect:

  • Professor Silvana di Sabatino, from the University of Bologna, Department of Physics and Astronomy is the H2020 OPERANDUM project coordinator. She will talk about nature-based solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation with examples from the EU-funded projects, OPERANDUM and PHUSICOS.
  • Dr. Burton Suedel, Research Biologist leading the Risk Integration Team at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, will showcase practical experience implementing large-scale nature-based solutions to reduce climate risk from the United States and its territories.
  • Verónica Garcia Ruiz, Project Manager for Climate and Disasters Resilience at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will focus on how interdisciplinary collaboration in different disciplines is essential to achieve good nature-based solutions.

You can registrate for the session here.

Keywords

Contacts

Amanda DiBiagioproject engineer in the Section Slope Stability and Risk Assessment and Ph.D. candidate in the field of nature-based solutions at NGINorwegian Geotechnical Institute

Tel:+47 906 30 922amanda.johansen.dibiagio@ngi.no

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Combatting extreme weather: are nature-based solutions ready to tackle the challenge?
Combatting extreme weather: are nature-based solutions ready to tackle the challenge?
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NGI – Norges Geotekniske Institutt – er et uavhengig, internasjonalt senter for forskning og rådgivning innen ingeniørrelaterte geofag, der vi integrerer kunnskap mellom geoteknikk, geologi og geofysikk. Vår forskning gir kunnskap som styrker norsk næringsliv til å løse noen av de viktigste utfordringene vi står overfor innenfor klima, miljø, energi og naturfarer.

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