Nature-based solutions for hydro-meteorological hazards: revised concepts, classification schemes and databases

Sisay E. Debele, Prashant Kumar, Jeetendra Sahani, Belen Marti-Cardona, Slobodan B. Mickovski, Laura S. Leo, Federico Porcu, Flavio Bertini, Danilo Montesi, Zoran Vojinovic, Silvana Di Sabatino

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Abstract

Hydro-meteorological hazards (HMHs) have had a strong impact on human societies and ecosystems. Their impact is projected to be exacerbated by future climate scenarios. HMHs cataloguing is an effective tool to evaluate their associated risks and plan appropriate remediation strategies. However, factors linked to HMHs origin and triggers remain uncertain, which poses a challenge for their cataloguing. Focusing on key HMHs (floods, storm surge, landslides, droughts, and heatwaves), the goal of this review paper is to analyse and present a classification scheme, key features, and elements for designing nature-based solutions (NBS) and mitigating the adverse impacts of HMHs in Europe. For this purpose, we systematically examined the literature on NBS classification and assessed the gaps that hinder the widespread uptake of NBS. Furthermore, we critically evaluated the existing literature to give a better understanding of the HMHs drivers and their interrelationship (causing multi-hazards). Further conceptualisation of classification scheme and categories of NBS shows that relatively few studies have been carried out on utilising the broader concepts of NBS in tackling HMHs and that the classification and effectiveness of each NBS are dependent on the location, architecture, typology, green species, environmental conditions as well as interrelated non-linear systems. NBS are often more cost-effective than hard engineering approaches used within the existing systems, especially when taking into consideration their potential co-benefits. We also evaluated the sources of available data for HMHs and NBS, highlighted gaps in data, and presented strategies to overcome the current shortcomings for the development of the NBS for HMHs. We highlighted specific gaps and barriers that need to be filled since the uptake and upscaling studies of NBS in HMHs reduction is rare. The fundamental concepts and the key technical features of past studies reviewed here could help practitioners to design and implement NBS in a real-world situation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108799
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume179
Early online date7 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • nature based solutions
  • hydro-meteorological
  • risk
  • hazard
  • eco-technology
  • geo-environmental conditions
  • civil engineering

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    Debele, S. E., Kumar, P., Sahani, J., Marti-Cardona, B., Mickovski, S. B., Leo, L. S., Porcu, F., Bertini, F., Montesi, D., Vojinovic, Z., & Di Sabatino, S. (2019). Nature-based solutions for hydro-meteorological hazards: revised concepts, classification schemes and databases. Environmental Research, 179, [108799]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108799