© Jürgen Freund / WWF
Nature-based solutions

The challenges of nature loss and global warming are linked - but so are their solutions.

© Green Renaissance / WWF-US

What are nature-based solutions for climate change?


Nature-based solutions for climate harness the power of nature to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also help us adapt to the impacts of climate change. They are win-win solutions that involve protecting, restoring and sustainably managing ecosystems to address society's challenges and promote human well-being.

Forests are probably the most well-known nature-based solution for climate change, but there are many more - including peatlands, mangroves, wetlands, savannahs, coral reefs and other landscapes.

WWF's definition of nature-based solutions for climate

Ecosystem conservation, management and/or restoration interventions intentionally planned to deliver measurable positive climate adaptation and /or mitigation benefits that have human development and biodiversity co-benefits managing anticipated climate risks to nature that can undermine their long-term effectiveness.

© James Morgan / WWF-US

Why is it important?


Our planet is facing a dual climate and biodiversity crisis. Around a million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction - more than ever before in human history. At the same time, the climate emergency threatens to expose millions of people to extreme heat waves and could leave a billion people affected by sea-level rise within decades, among several other impacts.

Alongside transformation in our energy, land, urban and industrial systems, nature-based solutions can play a key role in addressing these two crises. Yet, the potential of nature-based solutions for climate change has yet to be unleashed.

Did you know?

Restoring upland forests can help the world’s 534 largest cities regulate water flows and manage more extreme floods while saving an estimated $890 million each year, according to The Global Commission on Adaptation.

Considering nature

A report from WWF-US found only 36 of 151 countries indicated they would increase forest cover, plant trees or expand natural areas in their national climate plans. 

What WWF is doing


WWF works globally on promoting nature-based solutions and prioritizing actions that could have climate benefits. We develop initiatives that harness nature-based solutions in countries around the world and emphasise the benefits of protecting and restoring nature to businesses, cities, communities and governments.

We are working to develop science-based guidance on the best interventions, partnering with initiatives that boost them, and advocating for policy changes and the increased inclusion of nature-based solutions for climate in national climate targets.

© ILO / Mito Tuskamoto

Nature Hires: How Nature-Based Solutions can power a green jobs recovery

A report from WWF and ILO confirms the potential of Nature-based Solutions to provide job-intense economic recovery while having a multiplier effect in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn more and read the report