Nature-based solutions, sustainable development, and equity

Leah L. Bremer, Bonnie Keeler, Puaala Pascua, Rebecca Walker, Eleanor Sterling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


Healthy ecosystems are intricately connected to healthy communities and human well-being. Nature-based solutions (NBS) are an important tool for water security, while also providing additional human health, climate mitigation, and livelihood benefits that contribute to multiple Sustainable Development Goals. NBS also play out in landscapes of current and historical injustices. Without explicit consideration of equity and justice, NBS risk exacerbating inequities, rather than contributing to a more just society. In this chapter, we discuss the importance of attention to distributional, procedural, and recognitional equity in NBS and review examples of real-world NBS programs and strategies to improve equity and justice outcomes. Specifically, we discuss urban green infrastructure, payments for ecosystem services, and biocultural approaches to watershed management. We conclude with emerging best practices around equitable and just NBS for water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNature-Based Solutions and Water Security
Subtitle of host publicationAn Action Agenda for the 21st Century
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780128198711
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Biocultural approaches
  • Environmental justice
  • Equity
  • Health
  • Human well-being
  • Payments for ecosystem services
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Urban green infrastructure


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