What is NbS?

Nature-based Solutions (NbS), a broad concept of nature-based approaches to solve various societal issues.

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits. NbS encompass ecosystem-based approaches and green infrastructure, which have been developed over the past few decades and are expected to be used as an integrated approach to deal with various issues.

The name of this website, INAS, means “skillfully dealing with external forces such as natural disasters proactively and responsively” in Japanese. This is in line with the fundamental values of NbS, which aim to flexibly address various societal issues, including climate change, through traditional and modern solutions that are rooted in the culture and climate of each region. This website provides concrete examples of NbS so that users can see NbS as one of the options for their own activities.

Key message

Key message

NbS is a new and general term, but you can find examples of NbS in various policies and projects that have already been developed. It can be seen from these examples that NbS bring about broad and diverse benefits, so it is important to understand the knowledge and experiences gained in various places through the case studies, find their intrinsic common elements, and find a way to apply them to your own work.


NbS can address a variety of challenges. You probably have some work challenges that can be addressed by NbS. It is important to recognize that there is a sort of solution based on nature to any problems. The issues to be addressed in each case study are categorized and listed in the IUCN’s seven international standards. However, there is no need to stick to this standards. Please be aware of the connection between your work and nature.

of NbS

NbS is a broader concept that includes nature-based approaches for societal issues. It brings multi-benefits to societies and communities, in combination with conventional approaches. In other words, NbS potentially serves as an innovative solution to a problem you may consider. This website categorizes case studies into four approaches to make it easy for users from diverse fields.

  • DRR

    Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR):

    Solutions that contributes to saving people’s lives.

    Conventionally, gray or hard infrastructures have been considered dominated solutions to natural hazards. These days, however, NbS or green infrastructure attracts increasing attention as more cost-effective disaster risk reduction measures that can be efficiently combined with gray approaches. For instance, critical ecosystem such as wetlands or mangroves can reduce the impact of waves, storm surge, and other coastal hazards.

  • Livelihood


    Solutions that contribute to improving the livelihoods of local communities.

    Conserving natures are often beneficial to income generation of local people such as agriculture, fisheries and forestry. NbS ensures improved livelihood through various aspects such as water and energy efficiency improvement, wise-use of natural resources for local business, and providing access to start the enterprise for marginalized communities by making use of surrounding natural environment.

  • Development


    Solutions that contribute to the socio-economic development.

    NbS also has a positive effect on the economic cycle of societies. For example, the conservation of nature can enhance local landscapes as tourism resources. Biodiversity friendly agriculture add values to the final products. In addition, creating a society that coexists with nature will deepen the connection between the people living there and the community, bringing about social improvement though the enhancement of well-being as well as environmental education.

  • Tradition


    Solutions that are rooted in and reinforce local traditions and identities.

    Since ancient times, people have lived in close relationship with nature. For hundreds of years, wisdom has been stored for better and safer living. Indigenous and local knowledge on the use of nature can often be useful in solving the challenges we face today. Looking back and use traditional knowledge is an effective approach of NbS.

Benefits to
people and nature

Benefits to
people and nature

Using NbS is a sustainable way to provide a variety of benefits and can be utilized in the longer term. However, NbS should not be considered just as an alternative to other options like grey infrastructure but should be mixed and matched, or used in different ways depending on conditions. Consider using a mixture of NbS and other options, or using them under different conditions. Some of our case studies include such hybrid NbS cases.