Adapting to climate change is a key challenge of local governments. Nature-based solutions (NbS) offer eco-friendly interventions building a sustainable approach in societies, restoring and protecting ecosystems.
NBS4LOCAL, funded by the INTERREG EUROPE 2021- 2027 Programme, aims to improve selected policies to support and prioritise NbS, thus turning climate-related support systems to a systematic application of eco-conscious solutions in local interventions, and introducing a framework approach for policy makers and stakeholders to mainstream NbS linked to evaluation, planning, financial schemes and monitoring.
As a result of the interregional knowledge sharing among partners, good practices and potential measures are collected, policy improvements with the highest impact potential are identified, and targeted policies are reinforced via guidance documents such as the Practical Policy Guide containing good practices and governance methods on NbS related policies or an open-use self- assessment tool, exploring the triggers and criteria of bottom-up NbS initiatives in relevant policy instruments, as such supporting the monitoring of similar interventions.
Climate-related policies most often apply top-down approaches, while in the case of locally applied NbS, bottom-up initiatives and engaged, highly aware stakeholders have enormous added value. Acknowledging the importance of collaborative approach, NBS4LOCAL relies on intensive stakeholder involvement during its implementation, dedicates specific measures on the capacity building and awareness of stakeholders in NbS related policies.
Eight partners representing six EU regions are gathered in NBS4LOCAL with the leadership of the Ministry of Interior, Hungary. These partners are regional public authorities or other public bodies, each of them aiming to improve a specific policy instrument related to Nature Based solutions upon the knowledge gained through the project. The partnership represents national, regional and county level actors, all fighting location-specific challenges, offering adaptable practices, and sharing the ambition to promote NbS as an integral part of local level climate change adaptation interventions, ultimately increasing the resilience of local communities.
Partners consider that while improving NbS related policies, three key steps of policy making have special importance: planning, financing and monitoring. Based on that consideration, while improving policy instruments and enhancing stakeholder capacities in NbS interventions, these aspects will be in the focus of the consortia.
Besides, for a deeper investigation of various thematic solutions, partners form two clusters, one focusing on water management and urban greening, the other on forestry and land use, regularly exchanging ideas to share universally applicable knowledge, methods and practices.
BURST will have a horizontal role in the project’s interregional learning activities supporting the process both as an expert in NbS, as well as a policy improvement process consultant. Along the three sequential project stages BURST will be responsible for the following:
# In Stage 1, it will prepare the methodology for the analysis of the regional context at partners, and for stakeholder engagement. In addition, it will elaborate tools for improving policies and support systems.
# In Stage 2, it will prepare a methodology to help co-working, training and awareness raising activities, and will supervise local capacity building activities boosting stakeholder awareness. It will compile an online Practical Awareness Guide based on inputs from partners.
# In Stage 3, it will support peer-review and policy improvement activities with a methodology, an interest/competence matrix and expertise.
BURST will also be the overall coordinator of communication activities. At first, it will create a communication action plan to guide partners’ communication activities and establish the project’s online presence. Later, it will support local engagement and awareness raising events focused on key target groups. It will also arrange for the media coverage and photo documentation of the capacity building program boosting stakeholder awareness activities. BURST will supervise the content of PR articles targeting key stakeholders of the selected policy instrument of each partner, and the preparation of presentations covering partner level achievements.The company will be responsible also for the creation and management of social media platforms (Facebook and LinkedIn), as well as the regular updates of the official project website.