Summer Course - Greening Risk Reduction with Nature Based Solutions

This Summer Course explores the ‘insurance’ value of the environment and how this value can be incorporated into business models for nature based solutions.

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For whom?

This course offers a multidisciplinary program that looks at both the biophysical and socio-economic aspects of nature-based solutions and combines socio-technical assessment methods with understanding of the science-technology-policy interface.

Participants with different backgrounds in water management (such as coastal management, urban flood management, land & water management, sanitation and wetland management) and governance will have the potential to (partially) select a tailored course profile that suits their profile and interest.

Hence, the target group is broad.

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 29 July 2019
End: 02 August 2019
ECTS credit points: 1
Deadline IHE application: 18 July 2019 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 950

VAT is not included in the course fee

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. Contextualize NBS within accepted frameworks and processes, such as sustainable development, climate adaptation, sustainable development goals (SDGs), etc.
  2. Explain resilience potential and trade-offs of NBS in the context of rapid-onset disasters (e.g. floods) and slow-onset disasters (e.g. droughts
  3. Assess the risk reduction achieved by different NBS implementations at a broad range of scales in both urban and rural contexts
  4. Argue that multiple environmental, social, and economic benefits of NBS contribute for them to be cost-effective
  5. Argue the importance of stakeholder engagement for successful NBS implementation and explain the role of different stakeholders at different stages of the NBS life-cycle
  6. Discuss the integration of the insurance value of ecosystems in environmental planning and infrastructure investment and make a business case for NBS

Course content

Nature Based Solutions (NBS) is an emerging concept. It covers a range of approaches and technologies, which use natural processes to address societal challenges. Of particular relevance are applications in the field of water management, such as in coastal/river flood protection, water resources management, stormwater management, water supply, wastewater treatment and pollution prevention. Their success is related to good performance on primary objectives, co-benefits for other objectives and (in many cases) low operation and maintenance costs. Nature Based Solutions, when well designed, will result in multiple benefits for the environment, society and economy. They can also promote a green and circular economy, because they close the loop of water management and make connections between healthy ecosystems and social/economic development challenges.

The course explores the ‘insurance’ value of the environment and how this value can be incorporated into business models for nature based solutions. The premise of the course is that nature based solutions (NBS) can mitigate the impact of a potential water-related hazard (floods and droughts). This reduces expected damage cost to people and property, which can include both insured and uninsured assets, as well as wider impacts (e.g. business interruption etc.) which are often not accounted for in damage costs assessments. This 5 day course will start with the state of the art in novel approaches for green risk reduction using NBS. It will provide concrete examples of implemented NBS around the world, zooming in on the particular case of Room for the River in the Netherlands.

At the end of the course participants will debate and create a business model for a hypothetical case study, as well as interact with course participants by sharing ideas and providing feedback. The supporting activities for these outcomes will enable them to build the necessary skills to continue the discussion of environmental insurance after the course ends.

The programme is organized into 4 main topics.

  1. Introduction to NBS and novel approaches to green risk reduction (day 1)
  2. Steps to Implementing NBS (day 2)
  3. Experiences from case studies around the world; comparative analysis (day 3)
  4. Insurance value of the environment: business case builder (day 4-5)


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