Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) act as the answers to urbanisation-related issues by linking blue, green, and grey infrastructure as a means to improve cultural, environmental, economic, and social aspects in cities. To support further implementation in Indonesia, RDI held a webinar on 11 February 2021. With the topic of "Application of Nature-Based Solutions to Bandung Indonesia and the Global South", it aimed to provide an insight about NBS from a global perspective which represents strategic and holistic approach, ensuring coherence across sectors and actors by taking the most effective measures to address a range of global challenges. This webinar series is a part of RDI's joint research with the University of Sheffield and University of Lincoln entitled 'Nature-based Solutions for Urban Disaster Mitigation in Middle-Income Countries". Moderated by Nadiya Pranindita from RDI, this webinar featured three speakers, Dr. Juan Miguel Kanai from the University of Sheffield, Dr. Alex Lechner from University of Lincoln, and Dr. Saut Sagala from RDI. It also featured two discussants, Dr. Eng. Beta Paramita from Indonesia University of Education and Dr. Tri Mulyani Sunarharum from Universitas Gadjah Mada.
The first speaker, Dr. Juan Miguel Kanai, introduced NBS concepts in the context of global urban policy. He began by explaining a long history of urban vegetation terminology, from green infrastructure to NBS which then became the umbrella of urban greenery concept. He highlighted multiple formats of NBS which addresses multiple objectives that are not only related to resilience and climate change but also eco-social benefits and with the multi-benefits it has, it can be integrated to reach the United Nation's New Urban Agenda's goal number 11. On the other hands, there are barriers to the implementation of NBS which are uncertainty, legal and bureaucratic impediments, possible maintenance costs and design challenges. Taking case study of Latin America, he mentioned that interest in NBS has been growing but there is no wide support yet from the policy makers for it as it is still seen as an add-on and a luxury. He concluded that NBS is a promising new area of opportunity to address problems of prioritized 'grey' infrastructure, also it is not a one size fits all solution as different understandings, approaches and hurdles are needed in different countries, with specific challenges for middle income countries.
Dr. Alex Lechner as the second speaker, discussed his topic on challenges and considerations of applying NBS in Southeast Asia. He highlighted the importance of providing an integrated approach to tackle systemic issues, which includes the involvement of academics within the region to lead more extensive local research. He explained the urban ecosystem services and five unique challenges for NBS in LMICs in Southeast Asia and East Asia including character of urbanization, biophysical environment and climatic context, environmental risks and challenges for restoration, human-nature relationship, and policy and governance context. He further explained the importance of NBS to solve various urban problems and challenges. Similar to what Dr. Juan Miguel Kanai concludes, Dr. Alex Lechner also pointed out that each city has their own challenges in implementing NBS and the need for capacity-building initiatives such as North-South and South-South cooperation, as well as joint collaborative efforts from academics and planners.
The third speaker, Dr. Saut Sagala, shared his perspective on NBS Application for flood risk reduction with Bandung City as his case study. He first talked about the flood risk in Indonesia in general then moved onto the condition and risk in Bandung which was caused by its topographical character, climate change and land conversion. To tackle the problem, Bandung has several regulations related to flood risk reduction as well as implemented various flood mitigation efforts, in structural and non-structural measures, which are then closely related to the form of NBS although it does not explicitly use NBS terminology. He concluded his presentation by pointing out the challenges and limitations for NBS implementation in Bandung regarding regulation and policy issues, as well as unresolved conflicts of interest within diverse communities.
The presentations were followed with a lively discussion. During the discussion, the first discussant, Dr. Eng. Beta Paramita, highlighted several points from Dr. Juan Miguel Kanai which she agreed on and similar to her perspective on the challenges of NBS implementation in Indonesia. She also pointed out that local characteristics, lifestyle, and education creates a gap in the communities and government's understanding of the importance of NBS, in addition to that, the lack of NBS research in Indonesia also becomes a challenge in NBS implementation. Acceleration of the NBS implementation in Indonesia is needed and it can be done through academics and investors collaborations. The second discussant, Dr. Tri Mulyani Sunarharum stressed on the capacity of various elements within the city as it is important for the resilience of the urban system and that the ultimate goal of improving resilience is to improve livelihood. In her presentation, she proposed several questions as means of reflecting on the current state of NBS implementation in Indonesia one of them being "How can we shift from grey infrastructure to green infrastructure?". As for now, Indonesia is still focusing on 'grey' infrastructure and not so much on green infrastructure so it would be beneficial to know how to change the mindset and paradigm of using NBS to also reduce the environmental risks.
At the end of the sessions, Dr. Saut Sagala emphasized the importance of cross-boundaries collaboration, as collaborative efforts will become a key in resolving the existing issues. Even though the biggest challenge is to bring all ideas and perspectives together, everyone's contribution is needed for the next milestone of Nature-Based Solutions.
You can watch the full version of the webinar by clicking through this link and do not forget to register and/or stream our next NBS Webinar Series #2 with the topic of "Mainstreaming Nature-Based Solutions to Support Sustainable Urban Planning" on Thursday, 25 February 2021 through our YouTube channel. Subscribe to RDI Indonesia YouTube channel to stay updated with our upcoming NBS Webinar Series!