Working Paper Concept Paper Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Fostering Transformation: Shifting Nature-based Solutions Away From a Human-Nature Dichotomy

Version 1 : Received: 24 December 2020 / Approved: 25 December 2020 / Online: 25 December 2020 (15:05:31 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Journal reference: People and Nature 2021
DOI: 10.1002/pan3.10212


Nature-based Solutions (NbS) have rapidly been gaining traction across the research, policy, and practice spheres, touted as transformative actions to jointly address biodiversity loss and climate change. However, there are multiple, alternative ways to imagine NbS in those three spheres. To inform the NbS discourses across these three spheres, we critically reflect on the prevailing framing of NbS and consider the potential of a different framing of NbS to support transformations towards regenerative relationships between humans and nature. Such reflection is urgently needed to ensure that research, policy, and practice delivers on the transformative ambitions of NbS. We propose a novel “core framing” of NbS, charting two pathways for how such a framing can support a human value-based transformation – first through influencing individual beliefs and values, and second through the communication and application of the NbS concept in research, policy, and practice. We argue that for NbS to support transformation, it must support a reframing of human-nature relationships, one where the interdependencies between people and nature are recognized as essential for social and environmental well-being. We elaborate on how such a framing is key to support inclusivity and collaboration between diverse research perspectives, policy objectives across scales, and implementation practices, to deliver successful NbS.


Keywords: Nature-based Solutions; transformation; framing; human-nature dichotomy; human-nature relations


EARTH SCIENCES, Environmental Sciences

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