Accelerating Transformative Transnational Action at the Climate-Biodiversity Frontier? Outcomes and correlates of effectiveness of nature-based solutions

Sander Chan, Kyle Wada, Andrew Deneault, Idil Boran

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Nature-based solutions (NBS) are touted as integrative strategies that simultaneously reduce biodiversity and habitat loss, support climate mitigation and adaptation, while generating societal benefits. They are therefore seen as potentially transformative towards a low-carbon, nature-positive and sustainable future.

Given these promises, NBS are proposed by a multiplicity of actors, including governments and international organizations, and increasingly also by non-traditional actors such as businesses, investors, NGOs, and local authorities, both individually and through networks that engage these transnational actors. For instance, the ‘Business for Nature’ alliance convenes businesses and elicits new commitments promoting pro-nature standards and best practices, while increasing climate resilience. Moreover, international organizations are increasingly mobilizing NBS through ‘action agendas’ such as the ‘Global Climate Action Agenda’ and the ‘Agenda for Nature and People’, respectively in the contexts of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The strong interest among transnational actors and action agendas raises the question whether transnational NBS initiatives effectively deliver on their promises. Despite considerable theoretical debate, we lack evidence to determine ‘effectiveness’, both in terms of whether individual actors and networks deliver on their promises, and whether the growing ‘universe’ of (transnational) NBS is credibly moving towards sustainable transformations.

This paper addresses this knowledge gap by analyzing the performance of NBS across the aforementioned action agendas and examining incentives and driving factors that influence performance. Using the newly developed Nature and Climate Cooperative Initiatives Databases (N/C-CID), which respectively track cooperative biodiversity and climate initiatives, this study responds to three questions. First, it gauges the extent to which NBS initiatives produce outputs aligned with their commitments (or, ‘output performance’). Second, it applies multivariate regression analyses to determine factors that influence performance. Finally, it makes recommendations for action agendas to credibly support transformative Nbs initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
Event2022 Toronto Conference on Earth System Governance: Governing accelerated transitions: justice, creativity, and power in a transforming world - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 20 Oct 202224 Oct 2022


Conference2022 Toronto Conference on Earth System Governance


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