Asia Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC)


IUCN, The World Bank (WB), National Building Research Organization (NBRO) & BRITAE Project

Session Description

Climate Change is a major threat to the sustainability of global eco-systems and Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are promising interventions in enhancing adaptive capacity as they provide vital links between sustainable socioeconomic development, biodiversity and ecosystem conservation to achieve climate resilience. The session aims to share evidence from field and explore strategies to mainstream NbS into climate resilience narrative, policies and actions.


Climate Change is inevitable. Due to the distinct climatic variability across Asia, majority of the countries of the region are subject to climate change effects including exposure to extreme events. Additionally, anthropogenic intervention has resulted in degradation of the natural eco-system resulting in reduced resilience to shocks and stress and some natural resources exploited beyond their regenerative capacity. The effect of these changes is likely to be aggravated in the least developed and developing economies in the region due to their low coping capacity and lack of awareness on the issue.

Though structural measures were more prevalent to mitigate extreme events but over time policy makers and planners slowly shifted towards non-structural measures to better manage eco-systems while mitigating ill effects of climate change. Sustainable existence of the world’s population depends solely on availability of resources while simultaneously striving to preserve the integrity and intrinsic value of the ecosystems. Healthy and diverse ecosystems are also more resilient to extreme events as they act as natural buffers to climate-related shocks and stresses. Thus healthy ecosystems play a key role in building climate resilience of the most vulnerable and contribute to the sustainable reduction of poverty and food insecurity. Nature-based Solution (NbS) plays a vital role in building resilient communities, ecosystems, and economies by protecting, sustainably managing and restoring natural or modified ecosystems.

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) is a recent concept that link sustainable socioeconomic development with biodiversity and ecosystem conservation approaches as part of an overall strategy towards climate resilience, contributing to the global frameworks and agreements e.g. the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction besides safeguarding human well-being in ways that enhance the resilience of ecosystems. NbS has been conceptualized and promoted by organizations like IUCN, WB, FAO and EU and is considered as the future for sustainable existence of mankind. This session aims to include NbS concepts of Climate Risk Management and Climate Adaptation Services, Ecological Restoration, Ecosystem-based Adaptation, Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction.

The session would discuss the implementation approach, use and non-use values, in monetary terms to implement NbS complemented with scientific and case-specific knowledge of the eco-system in an adaptive decision-making process involving the relevant stakeholders. The session will feature experts in both policy and practice who will showcase nature-based actions being undertaken in countries / the region, with a special emphasis on interventions in Sri Lanka, to build resilience for ecosystems, communities, and economies. The ultimate goal is to enable local communities to lead the integration of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the management of their ecosystems, through viable nature-based solutions and risk resilient natural infrastructure.


Achieving Climate Resilience through Nature-based Solution (NbS) is a necessity for countries in Asia as it is the most vulnerable region of the globe and transformative resilience-building actions, initiatives, policies, technologies, and financial innovations are the need of the hour. The current session aims to discuss various approaches to achieve the climate resilience with the following objectives:

• Objective 1: Sharing of evidence of effective Nature-based Solutions (e.g. Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction, Ecosystem-based Adaptation, Ecological Restoration, Climate Risk Management and Climate Adaptation Services, Green Infrastructure, etc.) to address global societal challenges of climate change, disaster risk, food & water security and Economic & Social Development in countries in the region.
• Objective 2: Relating evidence of NbS to policy decisions at national scale to ensure effectiveness through tools and methods to support planning, implementing as well as Monitoring & Evaluation.
• Objective 3: Strategy to scale-up and scale-out NbS by linking Science, Practice and Policy - opportunities and challenges both institutional and financial.

Key messages

• NBS are essential to meet the societal challenges arising out of ill effects of climate change.
• Conventional solutions (structural measures) are a hindrance to better management of eco-systems while mitigating ill effects of climate change.
• Communities as agents of change who will enable mainstreaming NBs into the climate resilience narrative, policies, and actions.

Format for the Session

The plenary session will be conducted as a hybrid model of ignite talk show followed by a presentation of number of case study snapshots and elucidations by several key guest speakers. The chair will trigger an active dialogue among the high-level guest speakers, through an introduction to the theme and then panelists will carry forward the discussion through their case study snapshots, sharing evidence from the field, exploring the strategies to mainstream NbS into climate resilience narrative, policies and actions. This will be followed by an interactive session, allowing for audience participation to deepen the discussion. The chair will then synthesize the discussion to come up with some key messages based on the session objective.

The chair will initiate the dialog by introducing the 6 expert speakers from partner organization (IUCN, WB, ADPC, Academia) who will then present about 10 -15 minutes each on their experiences through illustrations of case studies or strategies or opportunities and challenges to mainstream nature-based solutions for climate resilient and sustainable development.
A 15 minutes audience interaction with speakers will follow as part of the talk show, followed by synthesis of the discussion by the chair (5 minutes).

Session Format and Programme (TBC)

Time (min) Agenda item Name / Lead
00 – 05 Welcome to participants, introduction of speakers / panelists
and introduction of the session and structure of the event
Chair - Dr. Asiri Karunawardena
Director General, NBRO, Sri Lanka
05 – 20 Keynote Speech
Evidence sharing on NBs for eco-system based adaptation,
eco-system based DRR, regional and national perspective
Dr. Ananda Mallawatantri,
Country Representative, IUCN, Sri Lanka
20 – 30 Speaker 2
Relating evidences of NBs for flood and landslide risk management
global and regional perspective
Ms. Priyanka Dissanayake,
Disaster Risk Management Specialist,
WB Office, Sri Lanka
30 – 40 Speaker 3
Relating effectiveness of NbS for ecosystem based DRR and CCA
in terms of landslide risk management in Sri Lanka
Mr. Susith Arambepola
Team Leader,
NbS for Landslide Risk Management Project,
ADPC,Sri Lanka
40 – 50 Speaker 4
Highlighting the process and challenges in application of NbS
for mitigating landslide risk at different scales
opportunities & challenges
Dr. Udeni Nawagamuwa
Snr. Lecturer
University of Moratuwa and Consultant ADPC, Sri Lanka
50 – 60 Speaker 5
Suggesting an approach for plant selection in utilization in NbS
for mitigating the landslide risk in Sri Lanka
Dr. Anurudda Karunarathna
Snr. Lecturer,
University of Peradeniya and Consultant ADPC,
Sri Lanka
60 – 70 Speaker 6
Highlighting capacity building needs and associated research
for promoting eco-system-based resilience
Prof. Champa Nawarathna
Team Leader,
Building Resilience in Tropical Agro-Ecosystems Project (BRITAE),
University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka
70 – 85 Q&A session All
85 – 90 Key messages & closure of the session Chair

Please visit the below link to register for this plenary session
Symposium Registration