Share your nature-based solution (NBS) story to raise awareness and acceptability of NBS
Posted on November 17, 2020
by Sasha Lishansky
By sharing your nature-based solution (NBS) story, you show that it is possible to create healthy, productive landscapes where nature and people thrive in a cost-effective way. By assessing the “full value” of your NBS project and demonstrating cost savings, you help mainstream NBS as a viable alternative to traditional engineered solutions. Sharing your NBS story also leads to high rewards for the implementing organization by demonstrating environmental leadership, building reputation, and leading to new partnerships.
This Lesson Learned is based on Benefit Accounting of Nature-Based Solutions for Watersheds Landscape Assessment, 2020; and Incorporating Multiple Benefits into Water Projects: A Guide for Water Managers, 2020.
Sharing your project story can:
- Increase awareness and acceptability of NBS in the private and public sectors.
- Demonstrate a company’s community leadership and recruit and retain employees and customers – consumers and employees like companies who “do good” for nature.
- Lead to new partnerships, especially useful for scaling up projects.
- Engage with stakeholders and decision makers to determine which benefits from your NBS they prioritize (to learn more about stakeholder engagement, see the lesson Engage communities over the course of the nature-based solutions project to ensure successful and equitable outcomes). Assess how information can be most effectively tailored to each stakeholder group. For example, the private and public sector may be interested in a detailed, quantitative analysis while the general public and media may be interested in professional, visually appealing content. Understanding the needs of each stakeholder group at the beginning of the process can help determine how to analyze, quantify, and communicate benefits.
- Identify metrics based on the priorities identified as most important by your stakeholders. Use existing benefit accounting tools or develop new ones to quantify and even value these benefits (for a list of existing benefit accounting methodologies see Table 2 and Appendix F of Benefit Accounting of Nature-Based Solutions for Watersheds Landscape Assessment). Collect and share data on priority benefits, as well as the quantification methodology used, to maximize transparency.
- Share project successes (and challenges) with the media, general public, and government to make the case for NBS. Websites, social media platforms, webinars, newsletters, online blogs, and sustainability reports are all possible communication channels. Frame your NBS project as part of a broader corporate sustainability or local revitalization story for a more cohesive and purposeful narrative.
- Utilize visual content such as photographs, videos, and infographics to make your NBS story more engaging (for tips on using photographs ethically and effectively, see GlobalGiving’s 16 Practical Photography Tips For Ethical Fundraising; for free, online infographic tools, visit Canva, easel.ly, and Google Charts).
- Include links to detailed information on data, quantification methodology and results, and decision-making processes, as well as a point of contact, on all story-telling channels to facilitate reader’s access to additional information.
The Five Rivers Reserve Project is the result of a partnership between BHP Billiton, Conservation International, and the Tasmanian Land Conservancy to conserve and manage 11,000 hectares of land in Tanzania, Australia. The organizations involved in the project have used a broad spectrum of materials to share their NBS story. The Tasmanian Land Conservancy regularly publishes blog posts about the species that are being protected on the Five Rivers Reserve in its In Our Nature blog, using photographs and maps to tell compelling stories. It also shares detailed information on decision making, data collection and benefit quantification. BHP Billiton is able to share this NBS story as part of its broader social responsibility strategy through press releases, inclusion in its sustainability reports, and an engaging video that features images of the Five Rivers Reserve landscape.