Making the case for natural solutions

By Colin McQuistan, Robert Šakić Trogrlić, Sunil Acharya & Haseeb Md. Irfanullah On 05.06.2020 Climate changeResilience

It’s time for nature. This World Environment Day, Practical Action presents a new methodology to help make the case for nature based solutions. Alternative solutions that can help address some of our toughest problems, such as climate change and disaster risk – but only if they’re taken to scale.

Bangalipur biodyke

The 220m-long biodyke on the Karnali River in Nepal was built by the local community with our support, using natural, locally-available materials. It’s protecting the property, possessions and crops of 135 households from flooding.

Scaling up of any idea needs funding, policy and support from other organisations. But just as importantly, it needs to work for the people and context it’s applied in. This methodology provides a framework by which communities can assess the financial, social and environmental costs and benefits for themselves –  providing a robust, real-world business case with which to attract government, donors, community organizations, and NGO partners.

“The river used to erode 4-5 metres of land every year. Two people from each household worked for 25 days to build this biodyke. This year there has been no soil erosion at all.”
Phularam Chaudhary, local flood resilience committee chair

As we emerge from the pandemic, it’s a shift of mindset and alternative solutions like these that will help us shape a better world. That’s why we’re looking for left-fielders to help us road-test the new framework.

Join us
Find out more about the framework and how you can get involved on the Flood Resilience Portal, which is an initiative by the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance. This multi-sectoral partnership between Zurich Insurance, Practical Action and other high-profile partners focuses on finding practical ways to help communities in developed and developing countries strengthen their resilience to flood risk.