A new LEED Gold civic center will reinvigorate downtown Long Beach

January 19, 2021 by  
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As part of Long Beach’s largest public-private partnership effort to date, international architecture firm SOM has helped inject new life into the downtown area with the Long Beach Civic Center Master Plan. This 22-acre project celebrated its grand unveiling of multiple LEED-targeted civic buildings late last year. The Long Beach Civic Center Master Plan, which has redesigned the downtown as a new and vibrant mixed-use district, targets New Development LEED Gold certification. Launched in 2015, the Long Beach Civic Center Master Plan provides a new heart for public life in the City of Long Beach. The LEED Gold-targeted, 270,000-square-foot City Hall and LEED Platinum -targeted, 232,000-square-foot Port Headquarters buildings, both completed in July 2019, are designed with energy-efficient, under-floor air conditioning systems and an abundance of natural light. The solar-powered, 93,500-square-foot Billie Jean King Main Library that opened to the public later that fall is also designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Related: SOM designs a low-carbon waterfront community for China’s “most livable city” The masterplan includes design guidelines for the development of 800 residential units and 50,000 square feet of commercial development. A regional bicycle network, buses and the Metro Blue Line have been woven into the design to promote a pedestrian-friendly environment. The historic Lincoln Park has been revitalized as well to better engage a greater cross-section of the city’s population. “Targeting New Development LEED ® Gold certification, the new Civic Center plan optimizes operations and maintenance, maximizes street parking, introduces plazas and promenades, and expands bike infrastructure to create a hierarchy and quality of place,” SOM explained in a project description. “The proposed sidewalk configurations, along with the scale and density of tree planting, create not only a welcoming and walkable environment, but a differentiated sense of place — one that befits the city’s dynamic center for culture, recreation, education, and government.” + SOM Images via SOM | Fotoworks/Benny Chan, 2020

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A new LEED Gold civic center will reinvigorate downtown Long Beach

This plastic-free, organic personal care kit is ‘All Good’

December 25, 2020 by  
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When they say it’s All Good, this ethical body care company means it’s good for you and the planet. In addition to the company’s notable organic products previously highlighted in a variety of publications, All Good has now taken the extra step to remove all plastic from the products and shipping packaging in its newest two releases. All Good began in 2006 with the mission to do good. Since its inception, the company has become a member of 1% for the Planet, the J.E.D.I Collaborative and many other industry partnerships for environmental and social justice. Plus, All Good has earned the coveted B-Corp Certification. Related: How your beauty routine might be killing sharks All Good’s newest products Recently, All Good unveiled the Plastic Free Body Care Set, a set of organic body care products packaged with zero waste . It features All Good Goop Skin Relief Balm, reef-friendly SPF 50 Tinted Mineral Sunscreen Butter, nourishing Coconut Hand & Body Lotion and a hydrating Coconut Lip Balm. Each item is housed in glass, paper or metal containers and presented in an unbleached canvas travel pouch, making everything reusable, recyclable and biodegradable. While the switch to sustainable outer packaging is a direct response to requests from consumers, the company’s product ingredients are plant-based and organically grown, some harvested from All Good’s own farm. The brand’s commitment to staying away from harmful ingredients means no oxybenzone, gluten, phthalates or parabens. Ingredients grown on the company’s farm rely on regenerative agricultural practices in alignment with sustainable practices. Many products are made in a solar-powered community kitchen. A second product release, called the Get Glowing Lip and Cheek Tint collection, is equally botanically and organically formulated with a focus on ingredients like shea butter and avocado oil, as well as calendula harvested from the same organic farm near Morro Bay, California. The kit includes four colors of blush: rosy beige, coral golden pink, jam berry and shimmer to match any mood. They are packaged in recyclable glass jars. Each of these products is reef-friendly and provides broad spectrum SPF 15 protection. Is All Good really all good? All Good offered to send me a sample kit for review and promptly shipped the Plastic Free Body Care Set. I should start by saying I’m not much of a skincare aficionado and would go so far as to say that my lack of a skincare routine makes my skin health-conscious daughter cringe. However, I am dedicated to sun protection in the form of sunscreen and lip care, so I was excited to dig into my kit. The packaging the kit was sent in was minimalistic , plastic-free and recyclable as expected. The canvas bag is really cute in a very natural way. The statement is clear with the plain earthy colors, and the adorable little turtle is a nice touch and personal favorite of mine. I first grabbed for the Goop Skin Relief Balm. This was my favorite product for a very simple reason — I love the scent. Made with organic herbs and olive oil, I wouldn’t really call it scented. It just smells nourishing, and it is. Since I had just spent the weekend hauling wood for my home’s fireplaces, I had plenty of battle wounds to nurture. The compound is buttery without being greasy. It made my rough knuckles and scraped arms soft and a bit shimmery. Even though I liked the aroma, it was a bit strong for me. However, I’d put myself in the category of extremely scent-sensitive, so the power of the product’s scent might not be a problem for everyone. Next, I reached for the Coconut Body Lotion. I found the consistency luxurious. Although it’s made with cocoa butter and rosehip oil, it doesn’t leave an oily residue. My dry skin (remember aforementioned fireplaces) drank it in willingly, and the results were immediate. The hand and body lotion is high-quality. A little goes a long way, and a single application left my hands feeling soft and looking supple for hours — even with all the handwashing. Unfortunately the coconut smell was a little strong for me, although I imagine most people would find it to be subtle. If you like coconut, you would probably describe it as pleasant. My daughter immediately rehomed it as a favor to my senses, or so she says. I moved on to the reef-friendly, SPF 50 Tinted Mineral Sunscreen Butter. While the lotion and Goop came in glass jars, the sunscreen is housed in a tin. It’s recently been 36°F and cloudy, so I wasn’t able to test it at the beach; All Good reports it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. The tint looks dark but was subtle when applied to my off-season pale skin. It is a butter, so it has a slightly heavy feel. Although I would say it felt a bit greasy, I can see how that is beneficial for the sunscreen protection requirements. Lastly was the Hydrating Coconut Lip Balm. Admittedly, I am obsessed with lip-moisturizing products. What I lack in skincare products, I make up for in readily-available lip balms in every corner of my home and car. This lip balm lives up to the name. It’s hydrating, nourishing and unequivocally coconut. I loved the texture and moisturizing aspects, but, again, the scent was too much for me. My teenage son quickly adopted it and reports he loves the way it smells and feels on his lips. The packaging is unique to any roll-up lip balm I’ve used, and I deeply appreciate the design away from plastic. In addition to the products, the kit came with a nice message from the company, printed on a seed paper you can plant and watch grow into wildflowers. I thought this was a lovely touch and dynamic way to show the All Good commitment to a sustainable business model. + All Good Images via All Good and Dawn Hammon / Inhabitat Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by All Good. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.

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This plastic-free, organic personal care kit is ‘All Good’

Giant bamboo arches shield Haduwa Arts & Culture Institute from the sun

December 9, 2020 by  
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Along the Atlantic coast of Ghana’s Central Region in Apam, Vienna-based, trans-disciplinary lab [applied] Foreign Affairs has designed and erected a giant bamboo dome for the Haduwa Arts & Culture Institute, an open institution for artists and cultural practitioners from Africa and Europe. The large-scale project, which was built together with local experts and locals, serves as a multipurpose stage. The experimental structure was constructed with ‘Bambusa vulgaris,’ one of the few species of bamboo available in Ghana that can be used for construction. Designed to serve as a beacon of bamboo architecture in Ghana , the Haduwa Arts & Culture Institute stage features a grid shell built primarily of bamboo. “Constructing with bamboo is also meant to foster the reputation of sustainable architecture in Ghana,” the architects explained. The project’s bamboo consultant, Jörg Stamm, adds that the aim of the project is “to put Ghana on the world map of bamboo.” Related: Student designs inflatable bamboo greenhouses for sustainable farming To that end, bamboo was used for both the main structural elements and the joinery. Thousands of bamboo nails were produced — instead of metal elements that can corrode in salty conditions — and used to join together bamboo arches, the culms of which were treated with borax. Once the main structure was erected, the designers covered it with a durable “skin” resistant to strong wind forces that also protects the structure from tropical rains and the intense sunlight. Set close to the water, the Haduwa Arts & Culture Institute stage takes advantage of cooling ocean breezes. The bamboo roof connects a rammed earth stage on the south side with a concrete plinth to the north. The site also includes a wooden deck, a café, a lounge and entrances to the beach. The open nature of the stage allows for a variety of seating configurations.  + [applied] Foreign Affairs Photography by Julien Lanoo

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Giant bamboo arches shield Haduwa Arts & Culture Institute from the sun

YY Nation shoes are made from bamboo, algae, pineapple and sugarcane

November 9, 2020 by  
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Tens of thousands of years ago, early hunter-gatherers braved frozen landscapes to go in search of food. And on their feet, they weren’t wearing nylon, plastic or synthetic materials. They were wearing natural materials. YY Nation does the exact same thing with its incredible new footwear collection. These shoes are made with pineapple husk , bamboo, sugarcane, algae and Merino wool. Why would you need nylon and plastic when there are durable, natural materials like that available? YY Nation says you don’t. Imagine a beautiful beach in Hawaii. A man is walking along the sand with his daughter. They can hear birds singing. They can see the breathtaking ocean lapping against the shore. Then they look down … and see plastic waste and old shoes. This is what happened to Jeremy Bank. After that experience, he created YY Nation. Related: Native Shoes’ Bloom collection is made of repurposed algae Shoes can be stylish, comfortable and still good for the environment; YY Nation is the proof. After launching on Kickstarter, YY Nation began to receive orders worldwide. That makes sense, because YY Nation footwear was created to improve the whole world — in style, of course. These shoes look trendy and fashionable. They are available in a variety of colors, but best of all, they are made with Earth-friendly materials that won’t leave a bunch of waste behind on the beach or anywhere else. The collection includes four styles: loafers, two types of sneakers and high-tops. Not only do these shoes look great, but they’re also odor-resistant, durable and temperature-regulating, so your feet stay comfortable. YY Nation’s goal is to be the most sustainable shoe in the world. These shoes are made with ocean plastics, recycled rubber, sustainably sourced bamboo , algae bloom and other natural materials. They are held together with an eco-friendly, water-based glue. Even the shoeboxes are made with recycled materials, and the shoe laces are made from recycled ocean plastic. This is how the world becomes better: one step at a time. + YY Nation Images via YY Nation

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YY Nation shoes are made from bamboo, algae, pineapple and sugarcane

Middelkerke Casino blends into the surrounding Belgian sand dunes

October 22, 2020 by  
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Great architectural design provides function for indoor spaces but also considers the effect on the surrounding outdoor space. This is especially true in a sensitive habitat, like that along the coastline of Belgium, where a massive casino will meld into the curving landscape while bringing an economic boost to the region. As winner of a recent Design & Build Competition, Nautilus consortium plans to honor both the history and the landscape with the new building, which will be located in the municipality of Middelkerke. Related: Massive eco-resort with a theme park to rise on Vietnam’s beaches The primary design goal was to create visual appeal that blends into the seascape rather than standing out against it, with a focus on building placement and integration. For example, the event hall, restaurant and casino will be situated behind transparent facades that offer views of the beach, sea and horizon beyond. From the outside, the wood structure of the ‘boulder’-shaped hotel is striking, with a light, natural appeal that contrasts the surrounding glass- and concrete-clad buildings and merges seamlessly into the surrounding flora. Energy savings are incorporated into every phase of the design, including the cantilevered dune on top of the ground floor and the terraces of the hotel tower, which protrude over the facade, creating shade during hot summer months. In addition, the layout takes advantage of the cooling sea breezes. Material waste is avoided wherever possible, and recycled materials are incorporated throughout construction. Structurally, the campus addresses flood risk through dike reinforcement while also providing a public space that is pedestrian-friendly . The upper seawall area is a car-free zone focused on bicyclists and foot traffic; an underground parking garage offers convenience and keeps cars out of sight. “With this project our coast will be enriched with a new architectural anchor, that accurately represents the character of Middelkerke,” said Mayor Jean-Marie Dedecker. “It transmits strength and soberness as well as sophistication, with a lot of love for the sea and the dunes. In addition, this project may mean the beginning of the renewal of Middelkerke’s town centre as an appealing place to live and visit.” Nautilus consortium is a collaboration between developer Ciril, chief designers ZJA (architecture) and DELVA ( landscape architecture ), OZ (casino and hotel design), executive architect Bureau Bouwtechniek and contractors Furnibo and Democo. They are assisted by experts from COBE, VK Engineering, Beersnielsen, Witteveen+Bos, Plantec, MINT and Sertius. + ZJA Images via Nautilus Consortium

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Middelkerke Casino blends into the surrounding Belgian sand dunes

Miami Beach Convention Center receives a stunning LEED Silver makeover

October 7, 2020 by  
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Global design firm Fentress Architects and Arquitectonia have given the 1950s-era Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) a sustainable and modern redesign — that has also recently received LEED Silver certification . Located in the heart of Miami Beach, Florida, the convention center has long been internationally known as the host for annual events such as Art Basel Miami Beach and eMERGE Americas. With the recent renovation and expansion, the energy-efficient venue is not only better equipped to withstand hurricanes but is now recognized as one of the most technologically advanced convention centers in the U.S. Completed earlier this year, the 1.4-million-square-foot redesign of the Miami Beach Convention Center takes cues from the regional context for both its exterior and interior design. The eye-catching exterior facade features more than 500 unique aluminum solar fins that, when seen from afar, mimic the movement of nearby ocean waves. Inside, colors and patterns were used to emulate receding water, sea foam and local coral reef patterns. Satellite images of nearby ocean waves, coral and sandbars were even used to create custom carpet patterns. Related: BIG weaves green roofs into a mixed-use development on stilts in Miami In addition to providing contextual cues, the exterior angled fins help to mitigate solar gain while filtering dappled light to the indoors. Glazing and connections were selected for resistance to projectiles and hurricanes to comply with FEMA code. Critical building systems have also been elevated to the second floor to allow the building to remain operational in the event of flooding or rising sea levels. The project’s resiliency to storms extends to the outdoor landscape as well. Together with West8, Fentress Architects transformed the existing 6-acre surface parking lot into a vibrant public park that includes a tropical garden, game lawn, shaded areas and a veterans’ plaza. In total, 12 acres of green space have been added along with over 1,300 new trees to increase the previous acreage of the 25-acre campus by 245%. + Fentress Architects + Arquitectonia Photography by Robin Hill, Craig Denis and Tom Clark via Fentress Architects and Miami Beach Convention Center

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Miami Beach Convention Center receives a stunning LEED Silver makeover

This tiny home on stilts features an awesome secret patio

August 25, 2020 by  
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Known as LaLa’s Seaesta, this 410-square-foot tiny home located just blocks from the beach features reclaimed wood and a secret hidden patio. The home, designed by Texas-based Plum Construction, takes full advantage of its small stature with a dining nook that converts into a sleeping area and a swinging bed made from salvaged wooden doors. In addition to the 410 square feet of main living space, there is also an 80-square-foot interior loft accessible by ladder. The ladder to the loft was designed and built by Christine of Plum Construction and includes a closed system to stop it from falling and keep it flush against the wall while not in use. Christine also built and installed the beautiful wall treatment in the main bedroom that is made of old beadboard salvaged from a 100-year-old building in downtown Galveston. Related: This gorgeous tiny home features a greenhouse and wooden pergola The exterior is painted in a bold black hue, while the inside is soft pink, adding a unique contrast of tones. Inside, the dining nook and ottoman utilize custom upholstery, and the full kitchen contains custom Carrara marble countertops and a vintage-style refrigerator. This dining nook easily converts from a sitting area to a full-sized bed. The contemporary sofa, the centerpiece of the living room, was given a second life through reupholstering. Local artwork from a Galveston artist adorns the walls throughout the home, and the patio section has a painted mural inspired by a Brooklyn graffiti wall. The gable decoration in the front of the house is constructed from reclaimed cypress wood from a nearby house that dates back 120 years. The real hidden gem in this tiny home is the large patio underneath. It provides the occupant with a fun, bonus hangout space with ventilated slatted walls. The patio comes complete with several swings, a hammock, a bar, an outdoor shower for rinsing off after the beach, a sitting area, electrical outlets for a fan or watching TV and, of course, the lovely swinging bed made from two salvaged doors. Century-old reclaimed wood was also used in the construction of the bar and swings. LaLa’s Seaesta is available for rent on Airbnb . + Plum Construction Images via Plum Construction

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This tiny home on stilts features an awesome secret patio

Passively cooled Californian beach house channels Australian vibes

July 21, 2020 by  
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American architect Alec Petros has completed the Seaside Reef House, a timber-clad home that celebrates indoor/outdoor living at Solana Beach, California. Designed for Australian clients, the beach house takes cues from the Australian vernacular with its breezy, coastal appearance. Sustainability was also emphasized in the design, which features FSC-certified cedar and passive cooling strategies . Petros gained the commission after a serendipitous meeting with the client at a local bookstore, where the two coincidentally picked up the same architecture book and struck up a conversation that revealed a shared design aesthetic. The challenge with the project was not only the site’s odd shape but also the client’s desires for maximized ocean views and an open floor plan while preserving a sense of privacy in the densely populated coastal area. Related: A Brisbane cottage is sustainably updated to gracefully age in place As a result, Petros strategically placed a floor-to-ceiling door system and large windows to capture ocean views and cooling cross-breezes along the western and southern facades instead of wrapping the entire building in glass. To further emphasize the indoor/outdoor connection, Petros included deep roof eaves that measure 7 feet in length and a natural materials palette. The open-plan layout and interior pocket door systems help maintain sight lines and ensure flexibility for long-term use. “Another strong detail in the thought process behind the design related to sustainability,” Petros explained in a design statement. “The siding is composed of vertical FSC-certified cedar boards attached to a horizontal sleeper system, which created an air gap between the siding and the water-proofing. This allows sunlight to heat the boards without transferring a majority of that heat into the building itself. The beauty of this design is that it reduces the energy usage on the house where cooling is considered.” The wood siding was also selected for its ability to age gracefully in the humid, coastal region. + Alec Petros Studio Images via Alec Petros Studio

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Passively cooled Californian beach house channels Australian vibes

Beachfront villa is split into two units for brothers to share

July 16, 2020 by  
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The Jesolo Lido Beach Villa is a beachfront, dual-unit building that exudes luxury yet incorporates energy efficiency throughout. Located in the resort area of Jesolo Lido, Italy, the split villa is the passion project by two brothers seeking to provide a beachfront getaway for their young families. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-2-889×592.jpg" alt="long pool with cabanas on either side" class="wp-image-2275089" Like many other places, beachfront property isn’t easy to come by or to afford in this popular Italian area. So when the brothers found it, they jumped on the opportunity. But as it came time for construction, they had to get creative in order to share the limited, 11-meter buildable width of the property without sacrificing the personal space each family desired. To solve the problem, they sourced the expertise of the team at JM Architecture, a firm based out of Milan. Related: Beachfront hotel in Costa Rica pays tribute to the land and its inhabitants <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-3-889×592.jpg" alt="covered patio with gray furnishings" class="wp-image-2275088" <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-4-889×592.jpg" alt="villa with glass walls and extended roof eaves" class="wp-image-2275087" The architects began by respecting the wishes of the family to keep both sides of the project equal in size and amenities, creating two separate buildings that share the same symmetrical, two-bedroom two-bathroom layout and are identically furnished. The units share a beachfront, 16-meter, zero-edge swimming pool , and they also feature identical covered, custom-designed aluminum cabanas for poolside lounging with protection from the sun. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-5-889×592.jpg" alt="small yard and long pool outside white and glass beach villa" class="wp-image-2275086" <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-6-889×592.jpg" alt="white room with gray sofa and wood coffee table" class="wp-image-2275085" Integral to the overall design is the use of photovoltaic panels integrated into the roof of the cabanas, which grant power to all the electrical heating and cooling systems. Using solar energy enhances other already efficient building elements, such as natural shade provided by existing trees in the white rock entrance to the building. According to the architects, they also considered noise pollution and privacy. “A large portion of the building envelope is cladded with 5 mm full-height gres tiles on a ventilated facade, to provide the necessary privacy to bedrooms and bathrooms,” the firm explained. “The north facade is entirely opaque in order to provide an acoustic boundary from the entry courtyard and the street behind.” <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-7-889×592.jpg" alt="blue chairs on a covered patio" class="wp-image-2275084" <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Jesolo-Lido-Beach-Villa-8-889×592.jpg" alt="two gray chairs in a cabana beside a pool" class="wp-image-2275083" With limited above-ground building space, the design took advantage of space underground with a basement level, where the families share a gym, sauna, hot tub, cold plunge pool, additional kitchen and laundry room. Large sunken patios clad with white glass mosaic tiles reflect light and offer natural cooling features in a space that is private to each unit. + JM Architecture Via ArchDaily Photography by Jacopo Mascheroni via JM Architecture

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Beachfront villa is split into two units for brothers to share

3 keys for scaling nature-based solutions for climate adaptation

June 17, 2020 by  
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3 keys for scaling nature-based solutions for climate adaptation Jonathan Cook Wed, 06/17/2020 – 00:30 This article originally was published in World Resources Institute . In Indonesia, climate change is already a pernicious threat. More than 30 million people across northern Java suffer from coastal flooding and erosion related to more severe storms and sea level rise. In some places, entire villages and more than a mile of coastline have been lost to the sea. The flooding and erosion are exacerbated by the destruction of natural mangrove forests. These forests absorb the brunt of waves’ impact, significantly reducing both the height and speed of waves reaching shore. And mature mangroves can store nearly 1,000 tons of carbon per hectare, thus mitigating climate change while also helping communities adapt. Without mangroves, 18 million more people worldwide would suffer from coastal flooding each year (an increase of 39 percent). That’s why in Demak, Java, a diverse group of residents, NGOs, universities and the Indonesian government are working together on the “Building with Nature” project to restore a 12-mile belt of mangroves . The project, managed by Wetlands International, already has improved the district’s climate resilience, protecting communities from coastal flooding and absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Countries around the world can harness the power of nature to adapt to climate impacts. Nature-based solutions are an underused climate adaptation strategy Java isn’t the only place where nature-based solutions can make a difference. Countries around the world can harness the power of nature to adapt to climate impacts. Coastal wetlands can defend communities from storm surge and sea level rise. Well-managed forests can protect water supplies, reduce wildfire risk and prevent landslides. Green space in cities can alleviate heat stress and reduce flooding. While we don’t yet have a full accounting of this potential, we do know that, for instance, wetland ecosystems cover about 8 percent of the planet’s land surface and the ecosystem services they provide — including flood protection, fisheries habitat and water purification — are worth up to $15 trillion . For example, offshore fisheries in areas with mangroves provide fishermen with an average of 271 pounds of fish (worth about $44) per hour, compared to an average of 40 pounds (only $2 to $3 per hour in places without mangroves). Yet despite nature’s ability to provide vast economic and climate resilience benefits, many countries are not fully using nature-based solutions for adaptation, according to research by the U.N. Environment Program World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) produced for the Global Commission on Adaptation. Of 167 Nationally Determined Contributions submitted under the Paris Agreement, just 70 include nature-based adaptation actions; the majority of those are in low-income countries. The Global Commission on Adaptation is working with leading organizations and countries, including the governments of Canada, Mexico and Peru, the Global Environment Facility and the U.N. Environment Program, to scale these approaches globally through its Nature-Based Solutions Action Track . According to the Commission’s Adapt Now report  — which builds on UNEP-WCMC’s research — three crucial steps are needed to make this happen: 1. Raise understanding of the value of nature Policymakers need to better understand the value of natural capital such as mangroves and other ecosystems that provide important benefits for communities. For example, it can be 2 to 5 times cheaper to restore coastal wetlands than to construct breakwaters ­— artificial barriers typically made out of granite — yet both protect coasts from the impact of waves. The median cost for mangrove restoration is about 1 cent per square foot. This is far less than the often prohibitive cost of most built infrastructure. Mangrove areas yield other benefits, too, as illustrated by the effect on fisheries. In fact, the commission found the total net benefits of protecting mangroves globally is $1 trillion by 2030. While some research of this kind exists, countries often need place-specific assessments to identify the best opportunities to use nature-based solutions for adaptation. Governments also should consider that local and indigenous communities often have ample understanding of nature’s value for people, and should seek out and include this knowledge in plans and policies. The success of the “Building with Nature” project, for example, relied on the full involvement of local residents. Policymakers need to better understand the value of natural capital such as mangroves and other ecosystems that provide important benefits for communities. 2. Embed nature-based solutions into climate adaptation planning Nature-based solutions often work best when people use them at larger scales — across whole landscapes, ecosystems or cities. Governments are often best placed to plan climate adaptation at this scale given their access to resources and ability to make policy and coordinate among multiple actors. To be successful, they should include nature-based solutions in their adaptation planning from the start. Mexico’s approach to water management highlights how one way this can be achieved. Water supplies are especially vulnerable to climate change, as shifting rainfall patterns cause droughts in some places and floods in others. Mexico is proactively protecting its water on a national scale by designating water reserves in more than one-third of the country’s river basins. These protected areas and wetlands cover nearly 124 million acres and ensure a secure water supply for some 45 million people downstream. This approach can work in many other places. Research on cities’ water supplies shows that by conserving and restoring upstream forests, water utilities in the world’s 534 largest cities could better regulate water flows and collectively save $890 million in treatment costs each year. 3. Encourage investment in nature-based solutions Communities and countries often cite access to funding as a barrier to implementing nature-based solutions, and to climate adaptation efforts overall. But, as UNEP-WCMC highlights, governments can spur investment in these approaches by reorienting their policies, subsidies and public investments. They can also better incentivize private investors to finance adaptation projects. Many governments, private sector and philanthropic actors have funds that could be used for nature-based adaptation solutions — but a lack of awareness has hindered their widespread use. Part of the solution is helping communities and countries better understand what funding opportunities exist, learn from successful financing models and identify gaps that could be filled by interested donor countries, development institutions and private investors — an effort the commission is undertaking. The benefits of nature-based solutions go far beyond climate adaptation. From the heart of the city to vast forests and coastal wetlands, healthy ecosystems underpin societies and economies. Canada’s $1.6 billion Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund is one example of a public financing approach. This fund helps communities manage risks from floods, wildfires, droughts and other natural hazards by providing investments in both green (nature-based) and gray (built) infrastructure. Much like the mangroves in Indonesia, Canada has its own coastal wetlands that protect its coasts from sea level rise. The fund recently invested $20 million into a project that is restoring salt marshes and improving levees along the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. Once complete, the Bay of Fundy project will reduce coastal flooding that affects tens of thousands of residents, including indigenous communities, as well as World Heritage sites and more than 49,000 acres of farmland. Protecting nature protects people The benefits of nature-based solutions go far beyond climate adaptation. From the heart of the city to vast forests and coastal wetlands, healthy ecosystems underpin societies and economies. They provide food, fuel and livelihoods; sustain cultural traditions; and offer health and recreation benefits. Many of these solutions actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, serving as climate mitigation strategies as well . They also provide critical habitat for biodiversity. The Global Commission on Adaptation is establishing a group of frontrunner countries, cities and communities to highlight successes, stimulate greater commitments and increase attention to nature’s underappreciated role in climate adaptation. By taking these steps to scale up nature-based solutions, we can realize the potential of nature to advance climate adaptation and protect those most likely to be affected by climate change. Pull Quote Countries around the world can harness the power of nature to adapt to climate impacts. Policymakers need to better understand the value of natural capital such as mangroves and other ecosystems that provide important benefits for communities. The benefits of nature-based solutions go far beyond climate adaptation. From the heart of the city to vast forests and coastal wetlands, healthy ecosystems underpin societies and economies. Topics Risk & Resilience Risk Nature Based Solutions Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Scenic path on mangrove forest at Bama Beach in the Baluran National Park, a forest preservation area on the north coast of East Java, Indonesia Shutterstock Ivan Effendy Halim Close Authorship

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