Harnessing the power of Nature-based Solutions in Ukraine

Nature-based solutions in forestry, water and agriculture for restoration of Ukraine and climate change adaptation were presented at a knowledge sharing event organized as part of the INSURE project.

The hybrid event on 24 November linked in a discussion delegates in Brussels with participants in Ukraine and the nature-based solutions expert community. The INSURE project team presented which nature-based solutions are likely to have the largest positive impact in the sectors of agriculture, forestry and water management and which reform processes are needed as a prerequisite for success. Ukrainian policy makers reflected on the potential they see in moving towards a nature-based solutions agenda in Ukraine and its role in the accession and post-war recovery process.

Since July 2021, WWF-Ukraine has been facilitating a stakeholder discussion on how climate-related nature-based solutions can be applied in Ukraine. This work has been carried out through the INSURE project funded by Sweden and implemented in cooperation with WWF Central and Eastern Europe, WWF-Sweden, and WWF-Poland (INSURE stands for movIng Nature-baSed climate solutions into Ukraine’s Reform agenda).

The long-term goal of the project is to achieve integration of nature-based solutions into Ukraine’s policy reform agenda by establishing the necessary knowledge base and stakeholder support while building capacity and addressing key drivers of change.

After the onset of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, the project goals were extended to embrace efficient nature-based solutions in the context of post-war recovery. Since Ukraine was given EU candidate status and discussions started on how to support the country in achieving sustainable post-war recovery, nature-based solutions have gained additional relevance as they can help meet multiple objectives, from biodiversity conservation to climate goals and securing Ukraine’s agricultural soils.

As a main outcome of the INSURE project, the first Ukrainian-language Nature-based solutions platform was developed and launched in November 2022. The platform is a website, a source of helpful information, methodologies, and best practice for those responsible for strategic planning and practical implementation of nature-based solutions.

Find out more about the project outcomes in the summary for policymakers: Nature-based solutions in forestry, water and agriculture for restoration of Ukraine and climate change adaptation.

Ukraine is committed to the goals of greenhouse gas emission reduction by 65% by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2060. The identified pathways for achieving these goals include shifting to resource-saving land cultivation technologies; “climate-smart” agriculture and forestry; development of organic production; protection of water bodies; biodiversity conservation. 

Since the beginning of the war, climate goals have taken a backseat, while humanitarian and economic recovery call for urgent solutions. However, environmental recovery will be just as important. Large-scale destruction of settlements and their infrastructure, hundreds of thousands of hectares of burned forests and fields, water bodies and soils contaminated due to hostilities lead to economic losses, additional greenhouse gas emissions and decreased climate change resilience. Nature-based climate solutions can help restore the damaged environment, sequester and store carbon, and provide the basis for sustainable.