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Local Government briefing demonstrates power of nature-based solutions
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The Improvement Service has joined together with COSLA, NatureScot and the Sustainable Scotland Network to develop awareness of the potential of Nature-based Solutions (NbS).

Nature-based solutions are about harnessing nature to help us deliver a range of outcomes simultaneously, including for climate change, communities, public health and a ‘green recovery’ from COVID-19. In particular, NbS have a critical role to play in responding to climate change, with a role in removing carbon, preventing emissions and helping us adapt and become resilient to the impacts of climate change that are already occurring.

Working in partnership, we have developed a briefing to inform and support elected members and the wider Local Government community. This brings together the knowledge of NatureScot, a leading authority in the delivery of NbS who have already published advice for planners and developers and Community Planning Partnerships, combined with insight from the Sustainable Scotland Network on the broader public sector climate change agenda. COSLA and the Improvement Service worked with officers from across Scotland to ensure the Local Government perspective was central to the briefing. The briefing has also been endorsed by elected members on COSLA’s Environment and Economy Board.

Local Government has a key role to play in delivering NbS and examples are happening all across Scotland. These include managing land to tackle climate change impacts, designing interventions that increase natural coastal resilience and ‘designing with nature’ within settlements to achieve a wide range of outcomes for people. Notably, Glasgow is part of the Connecting Nature programme, leading on large scale NbS projects and sharing learning.

Work is now underway to develop future training and projects in this area.

Nature based solutions in five categories: the climate emergency and loss of nature; young people, learning and play; stronger communities and sustainable places; health and wellbeing; and inclusive economic growth.