26 Apr 2021

Venue: Online | Webex

The Geneva Nature-based Solutions dialogues aim to facilitate further engagement and discussion among the stakeholders in International Geneva and beyond, in the lead-up to a critical year for nature and society. The dialogues are convened by the Geneva Environment Network and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

About the Dialogues

We are facing a triple planetary crisis – climate change, nature loss and pollution. In this context, Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are a powerful ally to address a societal and environmental challenges. As per IUCN definition, NbS are actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.

NbS are a powerful tool to facilitate and catalyse the engagement of cross-sectoral stakeholders to join forces towards the implementation of an ambitious Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and move towards achieving the CBD 2050 Vision of ‘Living in harmony with nature’.  NbS also offer a pathway for synergies among several multilateral environmental agreements, including for biological diversity (CBD), climate change (UNFCCC), disaster risk reduction (Sendai Framework), desertification (UNCCD) and the wider Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and for mainstreaming nature conservation into sectoral decision-making processes.

In the lead-up to a critical year for nature and society, NbS offer an opportunity to address a wide range of urgent societal challenges. The year 2021 and the major upcoming negotiations should indeed mark a turning point towards a resilient world for future generations.

Join the Geneva Environment Network and the International Union for Conservation of Nature in a one-year journey, where experts from all over the world and different sectors will discuss throughout the year  how NbS are relevant to various debates ongoing in Geneva.

Health Session

The Nature-based Solutions and Health Dialogue is critical as the first stage of this journey convened in the run-up to various international negotiations, as the world is still coping with the challenges of addressing the origins and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nature protects our health in many ways. As the current pandemic has shown, the increasing negative impact of human activities on the environment severely threatens human and ecosystem health. Land use changes, expansion and intensification of agriculture, together with unsustainable trade, production and consumption disrupt nature while increasing contact between wildlife, livestock, pathogens and people. Therefore, protecting, resorting and sustainably managing ecosystems is a critical step to prevent future pandemics and safeguard our health.

Similarly, Nature-based Solutions also support the health of city dwellers. Greening cities is an efficient way to reduce air pollution and to adapt to the increasing heat stress in cities. Urban forests and green spaces can further improve physical health, promote mental well-being and reduce stress.

At the fifth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.1), UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized that 2021 is “a critical year to reset our relationship with nature”. In face of the triple planetary crisis – climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution –, adopting plans and policies to foster environmental health are crucial for safeguarding our own health and that of our future generations. Such efforts are in line with the “One Health” approach, which emphasizes the need to work across sectors for better public health outcomes.

In 2016, at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, it was stated the importance of “strengthening cross-sector partnerships to recognize the contributions of nature to health, well-being and quality of life” (WCC 2016 Resolution 064). IUCN Members recognized that nature-based solutions can play a n important role in reducing the global increase in noncommunicable diseases, climate-sensitive disease and the risks of disease transmission between wildlife and people. The upcoming IUCN World Conservation Congress represents a key opportunity to advance this line of work.

The increasing recognition of the interdependency of human, animal and environmental health is  a robust foundation to raise ambition and take action to improve ecosystem and society health, in the lead up to the forthcoming international negotiations on biodiversity and climate change.

Other Sessions

Special Sessions in the Run-Up to the UNFCCC COP-26


By order of intervention


Europe Director, UNEP

Radhika MURTI

Director, Global Ecosystem Management Programme, IUCN


UN inter-agency expert on biodiversity and health issues, WHO


Chief for Wildlife, UNEP


Associate Vice President for Conservation and Health, EcoHealth Alliance


Senior scientist, Section of epidemiology, University of Zurich


Permanent Mission of the Republic of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva

Indigenous Community Representative


The event will take place online. Kindly register directly on the Webex platform.


In addition to the live WebEx and Facebook transmissions, the video will be available on this webpage.


  • Invitation


The update on Nature-based Solutions provides relevant information and the most recent resources, news and articles from the various organizations in international Geneva and other institutions around the world.