Since 2013, the European Commission has devoted particular attention to Nature-Based Solutions through consultations and dialogues that sought to make the concept of these solutions more concrete and to define the concept's place within the spectrum of ecosystem-based approaches. In 2014, the Commission launched an expert group, which conducted further analysis, and made recommendations to help increase the use of Nature-Based Solutions and bring nature back into cities. In 2015, a survey was conducted on citizens' views and perceptions of 'Nature in Cities' to provide further insight for future work. Based on these elements and on results from running EU projects, the Commission has developed an R&I agenda for Nature-Based Solutions and has published targeted calls for proposals for large-scale demonstration projects in this field in 2016 and 2017.
Additional R&I actions at EU level that promote systematic Nature-Based Solutions and their benefits to cities and territories are planned with the aim to improve the implementation capacity and evidence base for deploying Nature-Based Solutions and developing corresponding future markets. They are also expected to foster an interdisciplinary R&I and stakeholder community and the ecxchange of good practices in this field, as well as help shaping and implementing international R&I agendas on Nature-Based Solutions.
The journal Environmental Research recently published a paper called Nature-Based Solutions in the EU: Innovating with nature to address social, economic and environmental challenges, which presents the EU R&I agenda for Nature-Based Solutions, as well as EU R&I actions to promote such solutions.
You can access the paper here.