Nature-based solutions weave natural features and processes into a community’s landscape through planning, design, and engineering practices. These practices can be applied to a community’s built environment (for example, a stormwater park) or its natural areas (for example, land conservation). While nature-based solutions have many hazard mitigation benefits, they can also help a community meet its social, environmental, and economic goals.
Building Community Resilience with Nature-based Solutions: A Guide for Local Communities is a new guide developed by FEMA to help communities identify and engage the staff and resources that can play a role in building resilience with nature-based solutions. Whether it’s working across various local government departments or tapping the strengths of non-governmental community partners, planning and building cost-effective nature-based solutions requires collaboration.
Structure of the guide
The focus of this guide is local communities, but many of the ideas and advice may also apply to state, territorial, and tribal governments. Some local communities may use this guide to learn about nature-based solutions and weigh their value for the community. Others may be ready to move from planning to action. The 30-page guide includes six sections, and users can jump in at any point, depending on their current knowledge base and interests.
The six sections are described below.
- What are nature-based solutions?
- Describes three broad categories of nature-based solutions.
- Identifies types of nature-based solutions in each category.
- The business case
- Outlines the many hazards that can be mitigated with nature-based solutions.
- Discusses the multiple benefits of nature-based solutions, in addition to hazard mitigation.
- Planning and policy-making phase
- Identifies planning processes and programs that can help users invest in nature-based solutions.
- Discusses how plans and policies can be updated to allow and encourage nature-based solutions.
- Implementation phase
- Reviews how local resources can be mobilized to preserve, restore, and build nature-based solutions.
- Discusses innovative ways of promoting private investment.
- Federal funding opportunities
- Outlines federal funding sources for nature-based solutions.
- Emphasizes FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs.
- Key takeaways and resources
- Summarizes key points for communities.
- Provides additional resources.