NbS investments offer holistic response to climate change.


The India Climate Collaborative on Wednesday launched its report ‘India Advancing with Nature: the current state of play of Nature-based Solutions (NbS)’. The knowledge product for the first time presents a comprehensive understanding of land-based NbS in the Indian context.

Nature-based solutions are practices that sustainably manage natural resources, in ways that provide co-benefits to local communities, biodiversity, and economies. These are a cost-effective approach to both capturing carbon from the atmosphere and building resilience to climate impacts. NbS encompasses a range of practices such as watershed management, mixed plantations, natural resource management, and sustainable agriculture practice that in many cases have been used for decades, and are mostly based on indigenous traditional wisdom and knowledge of communities. Especially in the Indian context, where 700 million people are dependent on land-based livelihoods, NbS offers a holistic, people-centric response to the interlinked crises of climate change and biodiversity loss whilst delivering multiple co-benefits, including an opportunity to create 395 million jobs by 2030.

This report, supported by the India Climate Collaborative and EdelGive Foundation, and compiled by KPMG India, addresses information asymmetry, provides a common ground for understanding the relevance of NbS, and serves as an important step toward scaling funding for NbS in India. The report calls for heightened public and private sector investments in NbS to protect climate-vulnerable livelihoods and build resilience towards climate impacts.  

Considering the enormous relevance of NbS in the Indian context, there is a need to strengthen the NbS arena through systems thinking approach that brings together various actors such as enablers, consumers and beneficiaries, generators, partners, and facilitators to drive NbS outcomes and investments. The report suggests the following key pathways to strengthen the NbS arena in India.

  1. Create a blended finance facility that can enhance the readiness of arena actors to invest as well as design robust and inclusive NbS propositions.
  2. Advocate for developing NbS strategies and guidelines at the policy level.
  3. Create a platform for NbS stakeholders to enable the matching of stakeholders with relevant projects and vice versa.
  4. Increase communications and advocacy to raise awareness and mainstream NbS.

Presenting the report, ICC Acting CEO Shloka Nath, said, “Nature-based Solutions are some of the most unique and multi-faceted approaches to climate change. But for us to really be able to take them to scale, we need different pools of finance – private, public, and philanthropic – to come together. We need ecosystem-level collaboration to implement ecosystem-level solutions.”

The report also highlights the recent trends in philanthropic funding towards climate and nature, showing increased support to rights-based conservation, with a focus on indigenous peoples and local communities. Mirroring the global trend, foundations in India have been investing in the areas of environmental protection and equity, and a heightened interest is expected in the coming years. The private sector in India in particular has a huge potential to accelerate the scale and pace of investment in NbS.

“To advance NbS in India, the role of philanthropy becomes critical in unlocking, mobilising, and enlarging finance for these solutions. Together, by drawing on the collective effort and distinct strengths of NbS actors, we could be poised to develop a fully functional market for NbS in India,” said Naghma Mulla, CEO of EdelGive Foundation. 

The NbS report is released along with a supplementary read that elucidates the landscape of funding sources that cater to land-based NbS in India, including the public sector, corporates, and philanthropies. It explores the opportunities available to leverage and fund land-based NbS in India.

TFPR Editorial

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