World Resource Institute

Nature-Based Solutions Action Track

For more information or to get involved, please contact Jonathan Cook and Elina Väänänen.


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 the Nature-Based Solutions Action Track, the Commission will bring much-needed attention to nature’s largely untapped role in adaptation, catalyze efforts to scale them up through initiatives that address key barriers, and bring together governments, the private sector, and civil society.

Action Track Goal:

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 activities in 2020.

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

We will form 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 in 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 2020 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 the 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

To increase awareness of the potential of NBS for adaptation and stimulate investment and prioritization of large-scale projects, we will carry out initial activities to build the knowledge base about the current and potential roles of natural assets in reducing climate risks. This will include developing case studies for pilot countries, using spatial analysis to identify areas with high potential for the large-scale implementation of NBS for adaptation.

Key 2020 deliverables

  • National and sub-national case studies that assess the current and potential roles of natural assets in reducing climate risks, including for infrastructure systems.
  • Expected launch of a work program to support at least 3 countries to assess the role of natural assets in reducing climate risks; identify key opportunities to integrate NBS into policy and planning; and explore ways to scale up and finance priority NBS actions. Activities would be completed over the following two years.

3. Map financial opportunities to support NBS

Access to funding is frequently identified as a common barrier to the uptake of NBS. To improve the accessibility of funding, we will map existing financial instruments and approaches and highlight successful models for financing NBS for adaptation. This will include innovative examples from the public sector, private sector, blended finance, and philanthropy.

Key 2020 deliverable

A compendium of existing financial instruments and models to support NBS for adaptation, targeted to country, city, and business decision-makers.

Key Events and Milestones

Below are select key milestones and events for 2020, where Commissioners and partners can engage and support the Action Track. Partners can engage by providing technical, political, or financial support that contributes to the Action Track goals, and by helping amplify the initiatives. Partnerships are essential to the success of this Action Track, and we welcome new partners.

  • Adaptation Canada 2020 – Vancouver, CA – Feb. 19-21
    • Showcasing Canada’s domestic NBS activities
  • Adaptation Futures Conference – New Delhi, India – Apr. 27-30
    • Meeting of Working Group to discuss NBS plans and potential commitments
  • Mexico's Third National Adaptation Forum – Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico – May 10-11
    • Showcasing Mexico and other countries’ NBS activities
  • IUCN World Conservation Congress – Marseille, France – June 11-19
    • Event on Accelerating Nature-based Solutions for Adaptation hosted by the Global Commission on Adaptation, IIED, and IISD
  • Climate Adaptation Summit – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Oct. 22
    • Proposed announcement of country and city commitments
  • COP26 – Glasgow, UK – Nov. 9-19
    • Side event to showcase action track including highlighting progress on support to countries

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
  • Natural Capital Project (NatCap) at Stanford University
  • UNEP-WCMC