1.95 - Monitoring and evaluation of nature-based solutions effectiveness in addressing climate adaptation

Project description

This research project recognises the capacity of nature-based solutions (NbS) in using their ecosystem-based approaches to address different societal challenges and to provide environmental, social and economic benefits, as well as to ultimately enhance socioecological resilience. In order to understand if NbS are effective in addressing societal challenges, such as climate change adaptation (CCA), two main aspects are essential: first, a continued process of follow-up monitoring and second, a systematic process of assessing NbS's effectiveness in achieving its goals (evaluation). These assessment processes may need to recognise the unpredictable nature of systems´ responses to temporal change drivers (adaptive management) and/or adjust the system to the new impacts of climate change or even create a transformed system (transformative capacity). The current research recognised that there is still a gap regarding the use of assessment frameworks to improve the NbS monitoring and evaluation processes to effectively address climate change adaptation. Despite their broader view to support the NbS monitoring and evaluation processes, the identified assessment frameworks still present some gaps that prevent nature-based solutions to be effective in providing their benefits and addressing societal challenges, such as climate change adaptation.

Regarding this central gap, the study also identifies the need 1) for planning and policy instruments to enforce more binding legal obligations regarding nature-based solutions to address climate change adaptation, 2) for the assessment frameworks to consider more adaptive and transformative management when monitoring and evaluating NbS projects´ effectiveness, and 3) to promote practitioners´ expertise in using NbS assessment frameworks to enhance the monitoring and evaluation processes. Thus, the research project identifies the need to interact with practitioners to understand the challenges and barriers in using those assessment frameworks. The results will enable to explore how existing planning and policy instruments & mechanisms can be improved or establish new ones to formalise and enhance the monitoring and evaluation of nature-based solutions projects to effectively address climate change adaptation.

Regarding the identified gaps, this research project has as its main research objective:

  • Investigate how to improve the implementation and operationalisation of monitoring and evaluation processes of nature-based solutions projects for their effectiveness in addressing climate change adaptation.

In order to fulfil the main research objective, the study encompasses two additional specific objectives:

  • Evaluate alongside the practitioners the existing assessment frameworks used to monitor and evaluate nature-based solutions' effectiveness to understand their applications' barriers and challenges better.

Explore planning and policy instruments & mechanisms to formalise and enhance the monitoring and evaluation of nature-based solutions projects for their effectiveness in addressing climate change adaptation.

Project team
  • João Corgo
  • Sara Cruz (supervisor)
  • Paulo Conceição (co-supervisor)

Financial support

  • FCT - UI/BD/151235/2021

State of progress

  • Started in 2021