Nature-Based Solutions and Urban Climate Resilience: Global Experiences and Local Actions

Incheon City, Republic of Korea

31 August 2023, 11:00 GMT+9

This session will bring together prominent regional experts and practitioners to share their experiences and knowledge on harnessing Nature-Based Solutions to address urban challenges

Event description

Asia is experiencing unprecedented urbanization with nearly 55% of the continent’s population predicted to live in cities by 2030. As impacts of climate change intensify, extreme weather events such as heatwaves, flooding, droughts and storms are increasingly felt in cities affecting urban infrastructure and services, livelihood and well-being of urban residents especially poor and marginal residents.

To date the predominant mindset is that grey infrastructure is safe, reliable and bankable and therefore regarded as the primary option in planning and building resilient cities. As climatic impacts continue to rise and bring about uncertainties, traditional grey infrastructures are unlikely to succeed in providing sustainable solutions to our urban challenges. Cities, therefore, need solutions that are affordable and effective in delivering services, including protection from extreme events, while at the same time addressing equity and providing synergistic benefits to well-being.

Nature-based solutions (NBS) including blue/green and hybrid infrastructures have been proposed as an approach to restore ecological flows in cities and as new infrastructure solutions that can increase the climate resilience of a city.

The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) intends to reframe NbS as adaptation solutions to address development, climate, and biodiversity issues within the social, political, and economic context of urban areas across the region. GCA, with support from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the Government of the United Kingdom and in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Government of Bangladesh, is currently developing a catalog of NBS options that can be scaled-up to enhance the resilience of secondary cities in Bangladesh.

At the 8th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum, GCA will host a session bringing together prominent regional experts and practitioners to share their experiences and knowledge on NBS to address urban challenges.

The objective of the session is to discuss how NBS can support building resilient cities, review different types of NBS, share good practice examples of NBS implementation in cities, and identify ways to mainstream NBS in policy and urban planning.

Key Outcomes

  • Foster knowledge sharing on NBS among urban practitioners, city-level decision-makers, and local implementers
  • Showcase the immediate results of GCA and partner activities in mainstreaming NBS in large-scale urban investment projects in the region
  • Increase insights on actions that can be undertaken by Asian cities and national governments to drive the local implementation of NBS

Setting the Scene

  • Saleemul Huq, Director, ICCCAD 
  • M. Feisal Rahman, Senior Water Climate Adaptation Specialist, GCA 


  • Arghya S. Roy, Principal Climate Change Specialist (Climate Change Adaptation), Asian Development Bank
  • Bapon Fakhruddin, Water Sector Lead, Green Climate Fund
  • Dindo Campilan, Regional Director-Asia, IUCN
  • Zuhair Ahmed Kowshik, Global Focal Point, Children and Youth Major Group to UNEP

Comments on the Panel Discussion

  • Jessica Troni, Chief, Climate Change Adaptation Unit, Adaptation Portfolio Manager, UNEP

Government of Bangladesh Representative Remarks

  • Sanjay Kumar Bhowmik, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Session Chair 

  • Joep Verhagen, Global Lead Water & Urban, GCA