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CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate-proof thanks to the power of nature

This Rotterdam roof garden increases the greenery in the city, which helps climate resilience. Photo: Shutterstock

KENNISONLINE 2020


For a long time, people focused on technical solutions in the effort to combat climate change. But nature also deserves a place at the negotiating table. We can exploit the power of nature to arm ourselves against extreme weather, flooding and lengthy droughts. Wageningen researchers explain how.

According to Tim van Hattum, the Climate programme manager at Wageningen University & Research (WUR), we have forgotten what nature can do for us. Yet the power of nature offers huge potential in preparing the Netherlands – and the rest of the world – for the consequences of climate change.

Climate change and the loss of biodiversity are the biggest challenges of the 21st century. Efforts to tackle these challenges focused for a long time on technical solutions, according to Van Hattum. “Technology is important for the energy transition and for dealing with mobility issues, but that’s just one aspect of the solution for the major challenges we are facing. Cooperation with nature is what we need for the future.”

In this video, Tim van Hattum and other Wageningen researchers talk about the solutions nature can offer for reducing CO2 emissions, tackling flooding, heat and lengthy droughts, and providing protection against rising sea levels.

For a long time, people focused on technical solutions in the effort to combat climate change. But nature also deserves a place at the negotiating table. We can exploit the power of nature to arm ourselves against extreme weather, flooding and lengthy droughts. Wageningen researchers explain how. With WUR-experts Tim van Hattum, Gert-Jan Nabuurs, Martin Baptist and Michael van Buuren.

From forest to oyster bed

WUR is currently doing a lot of research on such nature-based solutions. Examples include robust forests that can absorb tons of CO₂ and are better able to cope with climate change. Or climate-resilient cities, full of gardens, parks and green roofs that remain pleasant and safe even when there are extreme downpours or heatwaves. In coastal areas, oyster beds can protect the hinterland from rising sea levels and at the same time boost biodiversity.

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