On July 6th, 2023, the EU4Environment Water and Data programme organised an online regional workshop focusing on nature-based solutions in Eastern Partner countries. The workshop gathered over 100 participants, including experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Their shared experiences centered around the implementation of nature-based solutions to combat soil erosion, mitigate floods, and address biodiversity loss.
The workshop's primary objective is to foster a deeper understanding and acceptance of nature-based solutions among Eastern Partner countries. This understanding is essential for integrating nature-based solutions into the programmes of measures of River Basin Management Plans. Currently, such plans are being developed in Armenia (Northern river basin), Georgia (Enguri and Rioni river basins), and Ukraine (Dnipro river basin). Nature-based solutions are seen as relevant measures within these plans because they address societal challenges while simultaneously preserving biodiversity and natural resources.
The insights shared during the workshop will play a valuable role in the development of a comprehensive catalogue on nature-based solutions. This catalogue is being developed by the International Office for Water as part of the programme. Its aim is to facilitate the incorporation of practical and effective nature-based solutions into the river basin management plans of Eastern Partner countries.
The importance of nature-based solutions lies in their cost-effectiveness and sustainability, particularly when driven by local leadership. Implementing successful nature-based solutions requires understanding the local context and involving various partners who may not typically collaborate. Additionally, traditional cost-benefit analyses need to be adapted to fully capture the positive impacts of nature-based solutions on the environment, but also contribute to reducing the effects of climate change while promoting social and economic development in the countries.
Finally, the participants stressed the significance of preserving existing natural ecosystems as the best form of nature-based solutions. By protecting and conserving these ecosystems, it becomes possible to enhance their natural functions and benefits.
Presentations and useful resources
- Armenia – Rehabilitation of Khor Virap Ramsar site (PDF)
- Azerbaijan – Kura Delta ecological restoration (PDF)
- Georgia – Flourishing dams against suspended matter pollution (PDF)
- Video about the Sustainable Caucasus project (in Georgian)
- Handbook on integrated erosion control, a practical guide for planning and implementing integrated erosion control measures in Georgia, GIZ (IEC IBIS projects, 2019 - 2020)
- Moldova – Constructed wetlands for sanitation (PDF)
- Ukraine – Contour and melioration agriculture (PDF)
- European Commission, DG ENV – Trends in Nature-based Solutions (PDF)
- UNECE – Nature-based Solutions for water resources (PDF)
- OECD – On-going work supporting the financing of Nature-based Solutions in the EaP countries (PDF)
- OiEau – Presentation of the Nature-based Solutions catalogue (PDF)
- OiEau - Nature-based Solution as measures of River Basin Management Plans (PDF)