April 01, 2020

Nature-Based Solutions: Protecting and Building Coastal and Ocean Ecological Infrastructure

Anastasia Telesetsky

When we think of infrastructure as a category, coral reefs and dunes may not come to mind. Yet, as we realize the social and physical challenges that await us with increasing climate change–driven impacts, we must reconceive what constitutes infrastructure that needs investment and maintenance. Taking an international perspective, the past few years have seen increasing attention and thought given to coordinating efforts to protect both biodiversity and human communities. Recent international cooperation has culminated in the United Nations declaring 2021–2030 the International Decade of Ecological Restoration, coinciding with the already adopted Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, facilitating national efforts to reduce disaster risk exposure. Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 (March 18, 2015). Both global efforts are unfolding while the Paris Agreement, which is focused in part on avoiding loss and damage associated with rapid changes in climate conditions, is also being progressively implemented.

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