One of Biodiversa+’s objectives is to produce evidence syntheses to aide decision-making and shape research calls on topical issues. A first study has been completed by the James Hutton Institute highlighting existing evidence on the role of biodiversity in the design, delivery, and benefits of Nature-based Solutions (NbS).
This scoping review has synthesised a total of 45 peer-reviewed articles on 48 case studies. The studies covered different geographic contexts, NBS types, ecosystem types, species groups, biodiversity metrics, and societal challenges.
The cases covered the main types of NbS classes from the evidence base:
- Protection and conservation;
- Sustainable management;
- Habitat Creation;
- Combinations of management and protection, restoration of habitat creation actions.
Trees, insects, and marine benthic invertebrates were the taxa most commonly reported.
The review highlights the lack or scarcity of evidence regarding various aspects of NbS. These include the role of biodiversity in NbS implemented in freshwater ecosystems, the impact of vertebrates on NbS outcomes, and the incorporation of biodiversity’s contributions to people (such as energy production, animal feed, psychological experiences, and supporting identities) in NbS cases.
This study forms a starting point for discussions on how to better align NbS implementation with existing EU environmental policies. It also provides a knowledge base to frame Biodiversa+’s future activities and to help guide future research needs.