Dr. Haseeb Md. Irfanullah is an independent consultant on environment, climate change, and research systems and a visiting research fellow at the Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) in the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB). His talk briefly introduced two emerging approaches - Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and Locally-Led Adaptation (LLA). In the context of climate crisis and he discussed the currently available standards/principles related to them. Using a couple of cases from small-scale fisheries (SSF), he explored the challenges and opportunities to capitalize on these novel concepts to influence our efforts in the context of SSF's vulnerability and viability, especially in the knowledge/evidence creation and system/policy influencing spaces.

This was the 26 August lecture in the webinar series of the V2V Global Research Platform focused on supporting the transition from vulnerability to viability of small-scale fisheries.

In explaining what nature-based solutions can and should be, the Haseeb Md. Irfanullahunderlined that the concept applies both to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and involves protecting the functioning of existing ecosystems. However, very often, because of the advanced state of degradation be it from resource overuse, such as through industrial fishing, or urban encroachment into wetlands or transformation of natural ecosystems into industrial agriculture exploitation the issue is actually restoration rather than mere protection.

He cautioned that even such restoration efforts would not be sufficient to bring the planet back into a balance unless we gave up and found alternatives to our current addiction to fossil fuels. Without drastic shifts to renewable energies and energy savings, climate change would not be halted and nature restored to sufficient levels.

He pleaded to engage in nature-based solutions with full consent of indigenous people and local communities known to have contributed overproportionately to safeguarding ecosystems and their biodiversity. Indeed he suggested measures taken should be planned explicitly to provide measurable benefits for biodiversity. The 8 criteria and 28 indicators elaborated by IUCN should guide the performance assessment of nature-based solutions.

In the second half of the talk Haseeb Irfanullah elaborated on the importance of avoiding working in sectoral or institutional silos. He went on to explain the eight principles of locally-led adaptations. He then highlighted the many links between the two concepts and how they could best be combined. While the terminology is not necessarily current in intergovernmental settings such as the Conferences of the Parties to the Climate Agreement, the gist nevertheless underlies many of the arguments and the search for solutions.

To see the full lecture and Q&A session, click here.