IKED activities related to NBS

The partners taking part in URBiNAT put together an ambitious portfolio of more than 40 specific NBS, packaged for selection and testing by the participating cities.  Among these NBS, IKED introduced four, including the Groasis Waterboxx. Mimicking mother nature in how to protect and nurture newly planted saplings, the Waterboxx is well suited for planting with native trees in dry regions, drawing on minimal water resources to stimulate natural root development and healthy long-term tree growth.
In URBiNAT, trees have since been planted, using the Waterboxx in Siena, Italy, Nova Gorica, Slovenia, and Porto, Portugal. Further, the individual NBS were integrated in wider Healthy Corridors,  framed as vehicles for creating synergies in addressing overriding issues of fragmentation and polarisation of the urban environment. 

In another track of activity, IKED worked with the participating cities in innovating around digital enablers to support bottom-up inter-city community collaboration, notably championed through the Circular Cities Café. Selected local hubs in several cities have already been connected this way, and more are under way, see further...
Throughout, URBiNAT practiced a holistic approach to NBS, devised for complementarity and synergies to make up so-called Healthy corridors in response to outstanding structural issues of polarisation and fragmentation. While each city has been marked by its specific challenges and opportunities, the parallel undertaking of this strategy allowed for systematic testing and deriving of lessons with more general applicability.  This applies, e.g., in regard to the ways and means of framing co-creation of NBS by citisens, the adoption of digital enablers in support of communication, and the framing of novel roles for policy at regional and local level to facilitate engagement and innovation by Nature-based Organisations (NBOs), for the purpose of leveraging the value streams from NBS. 
A policy brief summing up succinct policy recommendations was put forward by IKED in collaboration  with URBiNAT partners such as ITEMS and GUDA,  calling for a comprehensive strategy to improve the contributions of NBOs to realise the potential of NBS as well as sustainability more broadly.

In parallel with its engagement in URBiNAT, IKED actively engaged in the EU NBS Task Forces for Horizon Research and Innovation projects, creating a greater platform for learning and diffusion of lessons and recommendations for reforms and concrete implementation activities. This work resulted in, e.g., the following reports:

In collaborating with various partner organisations, IKED further engages in practical efforts to pave the way for the implementation of NBS projects in various parts of the world. Examples include plantations with the Waterboxx in the Middle East, notably Oman, or the development of Mangrove forests, Wetlands development, bio-saline agriculture, and other agro-forestry projects in South Asia and Africa.  Meanwhile, contacts are maintained with previously initiated such project in Latin America and the Caribbean.