• Share

Nature has all the best solutions

The natural world is under threat. Species are being lost at 100-1000 times the historical rate with human activity and climate change the main drivers.

As humans, when we consider how to begin to fix this situation, there is a natural tendency to look for solutions that involve man-made infrastructure and technologies. However, there is an alternative – nature-based solutions, innovative approaches that harness the power of nature to address environmental challenges.

ICMM members, as well as governments and communities, are increasingly looking towards nature-based solutions, using the inherent resilience and efficiency of ecosystems to tackle issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss and water scarcity.

On land…

One key aspect of nature-based solutions is their ability to sequester carbon dioxide and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Actions to deal with climate change is vital to help the natural world.

Forests and other natural ecosystems act as carbon sinks, absorbing and storing huge amounts of carbon. ICMM members are involved in massive-scale reforestation projects in the Amazon and elsewhere, as well as conserving existing forests and regenerating previously mined land. 

This helps combat climate change and enhances biodiversity, as well as providing benefits for local communities and helping to preserve traditional territories.

…and underwater

From carbon-loving kelp forests off the coast of Namibia, to mangroves in the Philippines, ICMM members are investing in a better future for the natural world.

Wetlands, including marshes and mangroves act as natural buffers against extreme weather events such as floods and storms. Mangroves are particularly effective in protecting coastal areas, reducing the impact of storm surges and protecting inland environments. These coastal ecosystems also serve as breeding grounds for various marine species, supporting fisheries and sustaining livelihoods. 

Further out to sea, coral reefs also act as natural barriers against coastal erosion and storm damage – and support a wide range of marine life, contributing to fisheries and tourism industries. Marine protected areas, when effectively managed, help boost biodiversity, restore fish stocks and maintain the health of underwater ecosystems. 

Community partnerships

The implementation of nature-based solutions often requires collaboration between governments, businesses, local communities and NGOs. However, ICMM members also recognise the importance of traditional knowledge as an integral component of nature-based solutions. 

Indigenous Peoples often possess deep ecological insights into sustainable land management practices that have been honed over generations. Respectfully integrating this knowledge into conservation and restoration efforts can enhance the effectiveness of nature-based solutions whilst supporting Indigenous values and livelihoods.

Nature-based solutions offer an effective and sustainable approach to addressing environmental challenges. From mitigating climate change to enhancing biodiversity and supporting communities, they offer a first tool of choice for ICMM members working to contribute to a nature positive future. 

Find examples of some of the work ICMM members are doing on nature-based solutions here: