At the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2021 in Marseille

Published 21.09.2021 , last updated 17.09.2023

PHUSICOS was invited to exemplary showcase how Nature-Based solutions create good environmental governance by engaging all parts of society and to enhance multiple benefits for both humans and nature at the IUCN World Congress held in Marseille from 3-10 September 2021.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), composed of both more than 14,000 government and civil society organisation, is the global authority on the status of the natural world (e.g. the red list of endangered species) and the measures needed to safeguard it. Held every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together several thousand high-level leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia.

In 2021, Marseille in France hosted the international event. A prominent line-up of participants, e.g. the French President Emmanuel Macron, the President of ECB, Christine Lagarde and the actor and environmental activist Harrison Ford calling to take action on a wide range of urgent conservation issues, calls for actions directly addressing the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

NBS important strategy cornerstone

The European Union positions itself as a forerunner in nature conservation and the protection of biodiversity. An important cornerstone of this strategy are Nature-based solutions and collaborative approaches for their mainstreaming to achieve their broad large-scale implementation in Europe and beyond. NetworkNature supports and facilitates this process to bring together experts across many fields to provide collaboration between projects by creating Task Forces on specific topics.

At the IUCN World Conservation Summit, Nature-based solutions were a key topic in the contributions by the European Commission to the World Congress and discussed the topic on site in Marseille.

Stakeholder engagement is vital

For creating acceptance and a broad implementation of Nature-based solutions, stakeholder engagement is a vital element. To gain momentum, European projects and experts on Nature-based solutions have joined forces to support the European Commission to reach ambitious nature conservation goals including implementing Nature-based solutions in large scales.

Scientists and practitioners have elaborated recommendations and handbooks to reach out for broad implementation and development of policies and programs to achieve reaching these goals. At the World Congress, the different working groups presented their results and ongoing work of the cross-project activities.

Example presentations During the congress, the finalized handbook (see link to handbooks below) and appendix on indicators to evaluate Nature-based solutions was launched to the public. In the thematic session on the handbook, Gerd Lupp from TUM presented the example from PHUSICOS on assessing the multiple benefits of Nature-based solutions with an indicator framework and an exemplary application in the Isar River Restoration case.

All photos (above and headline photo): Leonor, URBINAT

Co-creation with broad involvement of stakeholders and civil society is another key factor for successful broad implementation of Nature-based solutions. The multidisciplinary team on Co-creation and co-governance of Nature-based solutions for spatial planning represented by Gonçalo Canto Momiz, Américo Mateus (URBINAT), Israa Mahmoud (CLEVER Cities) and Gerd Lupp (PHUSICOS) provided an interactive presentation and discussion. They gave the interested audience insights on why it is important on systematic involvement strategies for enhancing nature and natural solutions in both urban and rural contexts.


Handbook Links:


This new item was prepared by:

Dr. Gerd Lupp,
Research Associate, Technical University of Munich
TUM School of Life Sciences
Chair for Strategic Landscape Planning and Management