In recent years, considerable progress has been made in the area of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) that improve ecosystem functions of environments and landscapes affected by agricultural practices and land degradation, while enhancing livelihoods and other social and cultural functions. This has opened up a portfolio of NbS options that offer a pragmatic way forward for simultaneously addressing conservation, climate and socioeconomic objectives while maintaining healthy and productive agricultural systems. NbS can mimic natural processes and build on land restoration and operational water-land management concepts that aim to simultaneously improve vegetation and water availability and quality, and raise agricultural productivity (Sonneveld et al., 2018). NbS can involve conserving or rehabilitating natural ecosystems and/or the enhancement or the creation of natural processes in modified or artificial ecosystems (UNWWAP, 2018). In agricultural landscapes, NbS can be applied for soil health, soil moisture, carbon mitigation (through soil and forestry), downstream water quality protections, biodiversity benefits as well as agricultural production and supply chains to achieve net-zero environmental impacts while achieving food and water security and meet climate goals.
Published by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and The Nature Conservancy, Virginia, 2021