World Resource Institute

Nature-Based Solutions Action Track

For more information or to get involved, please contact Jonathan Cook ( and Michael Mullan (

Nature gives vital and irreplaceable protection against the mounting impacts of climate change. Despite the powerful case for working with nature to reduce climate risks, the world has barely begun to realize its potential. The Global Commission on Adaptation’s landmark report, Adapt Now, calls for governments and companies to significantly accelerate action and investment in Nature-Based Solutions (NBS).

Through its Nature-Based Solutions Action Track, the Commission is bringing much-needed attention to nature’s largely untapped role in adaptation, catalyzing efforts to scale up NBS through initiatives that address key barriers, and bringing together governments, the private sector, and civil society. Results from the Action Track will be showcased at the Climate Adaptation Summit, which will be held virtually on 25 January 2021.

Action Track Goal

By 2030, we aim to accelerate the uptake of nature-based solutions for climate adaptation at scale by:

  1. Raising understanding of the value of nature for climate adaptation, especially at the political level
  2. Embedding nature-based solutions for adaptation in planning, policies and operations
  3. Unlocking and catalyzing investments in nature-based solutions. 

The Commission is mobilizing a wide range of partners to achieve this goal by pursuing three main sets of activities in the Year of Action.

1. Establish a vanguard group to profile and advance NBS action

We are forming a vanguard group of key countries, cities, companies, and other actors to build partnerships, align capabilities, mobilize resources, and increase global support for NBS. Members will include early-movers and leaders who can profile their experience planning and implementing large-scale NBS action for adaptation, and are willing to commit to action that would yield benefits by 2030, along with supporters interested in increasing their capacity to implement NBS at scale.

Key 2021 deliverables:

  • Five countries commit to including large-scale nature-based solutions initiatives in their adaptation planning and policies, to benefit at least 25 percent of their population, by 2030.
  • 15 cities and communities pledge to make investments that include new nature-based solutions that benefit at least 50 percent of their population by 2030.
  • Five innovative financing models are brought forward by investors, companies, and others to initiate and expand nature-based solutions. 

2. Provide technical analysis to support countries and other actors

To stimulate and support additional commitments, investments, and partnerships that expand the use of NBS for adaptation, we are carrying out several activities that increase awareness of the role of ecosystems in reducing climate risk and help strengthen this role.

Key 2021 deliverables:

  • A report assessing a set of key platforms related to NBS that evaluates their current adaptation-related outcomes and identifies strategic opportunities to increase their contribution to adaptation outcomes at scale.
  • An advisory facility and knowledge platform to support the economic and financial valuation of nature-based infrastructure.
  • Support for the development of globally applicable engineering standards for the integration of nature-based solutions in infrastructure projects. 

3. Identify and create financial opportunities to support NBS

Access to funding is frequently identified as a common barrier to the uptake of NBS for adaptation. To improve the accessibility of funding, we are carrying out several activities to assess the funding landscape, highlight successful financing models, and identify opportunities for donors and other institutions. We will also develop and launch several new initiatives that aim to expand options for financing NBS.

Key 2021 deliverables:

  • An assessment of the current landscape of options and opportunities for financing NBS for adaptation available to national governments, with a focus on public financing.
  • A new initiative to pilot approaches using blended finance to increase access to credit by farmers and micro, small, and medium enteprises for investment in NBS-oriented adaptation actions.
  • Publication of think pieces on 1) opportunities for countries to use NBS as part of COVID-19 economic stimulus and recovery packages and 2) potential links between NBS and positive health outcomes.

Current Partners

  • Government of Canada (co-lead)
  • Government of Mexico (co-lead)
  • Government of Peru (vanguard country)
  • Global Environment Facility
  • UNEP
  • Global Center on Adaptation
  • World Resources Institute