This e-environment with Nature Based Solutions is certainly not the first initiative to share case studies. There have been many organizations and initiatives before us. Many of these organizations have also started to set-up guidelines and principles for Nature Based Solution applications (see below the links). Furthermore, there is also a network group specifically focused on NBS in IWA Connect.

We work together with them to find case-studies that are fit to show Nature Based Solutions 4 Water in addition to the work in the World Water Development Report 2018.

We herewith like to thank our partners for sharing these projects and case studies here on this website. Below you can find our current partners and there activities:

Wise up to Climate & Water and Nature Initiative – IUCN

The mission of the IUCN Global Water Programme is to be a trusted partner for evidence-based and adaptive change in water resource management that benefits nature and people.

We bring together our extensive network of IUCN Members, experts, government and private sector partners to develop sustainable solutions to preserve our water resources. Our knowledge is based around the central theme of Implementing Sustainable River Basin Management, branching off into key components which consist of:

  • Implementing IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management) using an ecosystems approach
  • Good governance of water and dialogue to build transboundary cooperation and effective national and local water resource management
  • Promoting sustainable and inclusive growth to improve water and food security and climate resilience
  • Demonstrating natural infrastructure solutions for climate change adaptation
  • Building partnerships for water infrastructure innovation in the Water-Energy-Food security Nexus
  • Increasing social, ecological, and agricultural resilience of ecosystems in the face of climate change
  • Supporting corporate strategies with an aim to recognise, map, and reduce water risks for wider multi-stakeholder benefits at river basin scale

Equator Initiative – UNDP

The Equator Initiative brings together voices from the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities. The prestigious Equator Prize highlights local nature-based solutions that bolster the resilience of communities and ecosystems in the face of biodiversity loss and climate change. Held roughly every two years since 2002, the Equator Prize has been awarded to 223 communities from over 70 countries. Information sharing platforms such as the Nature-Based Solutions Database and the documentation of best practice build capacity of local and indigenous community leaders, practitioners, and governments. Interactive community dialogue workshops enable peer-to-peer exchange and learning, and raise the profile of local and indigenous initiatives at international conferences. The Equator Initiative also seeks to replicate and scale up the impact of grassroots success stories through policy advocacy and innovative finance mechanisms. The Equator Initiative is hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) within its Global Programme on Nature for Development, which identifies, fosters, and advocates for nature-based solutions that help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at local, national, and international levels.

A variety of Equator Prize winners have devised innovative solutions pertaining to water security. In the mountains of Tajikistan, the Equator Prize 2014 winner “Water is Hope” is responding to severe water shortages and seasonal crop failures using nature-based solutions and reviving traditional water rights concepts. With 5,000 active members, “Water is Hope” is a model for ensuring water security through sustainable methods in the face of drought and increasing climate stress. In Kenya, communities face challenges with water quality. The Mara River Water Users Association, an Equator Prize 2010 winner, is planting trees and maintaining natural riparian buffers to provide clean drinking water for local communities. In Nicaragua, the Alexander von Humboldt Center, Equator Prize 2012 winner, educates communities on sustainable water management and restores water systems using sustainable technology and community capacities. Improvements to local water infrastructure have reduced the amount of time and energy it takes to provide families with their daily water supply, giving women more time and freedom to participate in decision-making, community life and resource governance. The work of these and other indigenous and local leaders reflects tangible progress toward the achievement of a variety of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Profiles of all Equator Prize winners and their work can be found in the Case Study Database.

UNDP has also just launched the report Nature for Water, Nature for Life: Nature-based solutions for achieving the Global Goals, featured by the Nature for Life partnership.


Ecoshape is a consortium of engineering firms, knowledge institutes, dredging companies, NGOs and government agencies working together to develop, test and share knowledge about Building with Nature in pilot projects. Partners are Boskalis, Van Oord, Witteveen+Bos, Deltares, Wageningen University, Arcadis, Royal Haskoning DHV, HKV Lijn in Water, IHC, Vereniging van Waterbouwers, Wetlands International and Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

Henk Ovink (Special Envoy for International Water Affairs of The Netherlands) and Henk Nieboer (director of EcoShape) published a position paper on World Water Day in which they call for joint worldwide upscaling of Nature Based Solutions.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

All life needs water. It is the world’s most precious resource, fueling everything from the food you eat, to the cotton you wear, to the energy you depend upon every day. Freshwater habitats—such as lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands and aquifers—house an incredible proportion of the world’s biodiversity: more than 10% of all known animals and about 50% of all known fish species. Yet despite the massive role water plays for people and nature, it is a surprisingly finite resource. Less than 1% of the world’s water is fresh and accessible.

It’s also threatened. Climate change, population growth and changing consumption patterns are just a few of the myriad forces putting freshwater systems increasingly at risk. Freshwater species are declining at an alarming rate of 76%—much faster than terrestrial or marine species—and freshwater habitats are in worse condition than those of forests, grassland or coastal systems.

Protecting fresh water cannot happen alone. WWF partners with governments, businesses, international financial institutions and communities to ensure healthy freshwater systems exist to conserve wildlife and provide a sustainable future for all. Together, we can create a water-secure future.

The World Wide Fund also published a Green Guide on Natural and Nature Based Flood Management, which you can find here.


Reconciling conflicting interests in the face of increasing demands for ecosystem goods and services will require revitalized collaboration across society. Aligning the supply of, and demand for, resources will require systemic change in terms of data sharing, negotiation and common performance monitoring systems. Institutions, such as river basin and regional seas organizations – as well as action programmes which bring together stakeholders at national, regional and global level – are crucial for providing the platform for collective decisions.

UN-Environment also developed a Green Infrastructure Guide for Water Management.


Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)

The World Bank has been piloting nature-based solutions in its disaster risk management operations. Between 2012 and 2019, nearly 70 projects included some use of nature-based solutions, but these have so far been limited to relatively small-scale individual case-studies. As the Bank’s work in making cities more resilient to rising climate and disaster risk gains pace, so does the potential for considering, assessing and costing nature-based solutions as feasible options for better risk management.

As with conventional engineering solutions, the effective application of nature-based solutions requires a comprehensive assessment, implementation and monitoring process. It requires an understanding of the drivers of risk as well as the functioning of the ecosystems that can be protected, expanded or constructed. The design of a balanced risk management strategy using nature-based solutions requires a long-term time horizon and a large spatial scale, which poses challenges for government priorities, budgets and procurement systems.

New guidance has been developed to facilitate the integration of nature-based solutions in the disaster risk management operations of the World Bank and other development agencies – together with partners from Deltares, UNDP and Ecoshape – developed a set of key principles and implementation guidance. The guidance document, which was developed by GFDRR, the World Bank, Deltares, UNDP and Ecoshape, outlines key principles and provides implementation advice for technical teams working on projects to reduce disaster risk and build urban resilience. It was jointly funded by the Program for Forests (PROFOR) and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), and benefited from inputs and review of major engineering and environmental partners, including the Army Corps of Engineers, IUCN and UNEP. The guidance note is also available in French and Spanish.

Alongside the guidance note, an interactive web platform has been developed which hosts an extensive overview of nature-based solution projects of the World Bank and external partners. This platform allows for the exploration, comparison, and analysis of nature-based interventions across various hazards and ecosystems.