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On 23 July 2020, the ILO was invited to participate in a Panel Discussion on the Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions, which was unveiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on the same day. The new Global Standard provides the first-ever set of benchmarks for nature-based solutions to global challenges, and aims at helping governments, business and civil society ensure the effectiveness of nature-based solutions and maximise their potential to help address climate change, biodiversity loss and other societal challenges on a global scale.

The concept of nature-based solutions (NbS) – actions addressing key societal challenges through the protection, sustainable management and restoration of ecosystems, benefiting both biodiversity and human well-being – is increasingly being applied around the world. The ILO supports it in the context of its mandate and is committed to applying it in the world of work.

At the Panel Discussion, the ILO highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic has made the fragile links between nature and sustainable development more evident, including through its devastating impacts on the economies and societies of the world. Sometimes livelihoods, employment and income generation may be part of the problem, but often they also have significant potential to contribute to the solution through the protection, sustainable management and restoration of nature, also addressing a just transition and building resilient ecosystems.

Employment-intensive investments offer a concrete way to do that. The ILO’s Green Works, which apply an employment-intensive approach, can create useful and productive jobs using innovative and appropriate technologies to develop and maintain infrastructure, environmental and community assets with an overall positive environmental impact, contributing to disaster risk reduction and supporting much needed livelihoods. As such, Green Works offer the optimum nature-based solutions by addressing both labour market deficiencies and environmental degradation.

As countries start to recover from COVID-19A shift towards more nature-based systems is even more urgent to ensure that sustainable decent jobs are created to build resilience. Governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations have a key role in seizing this opportunity and paving the way to a socially just, but also resilient and green recovery, cognizant that “if delivered appropriately, NbS can significantly contribute to addressing multiple societal challenges”. Only that will allow us to build back better, creating pathways to resilience and sustainable development that leave no one behind.

Click here to read the full statement. 

Source of original article: International Labour Organization (www.ilo.org).
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