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Nature‐based solutions for meeting environmental and socio‐economic challenges in land management and development

Population growth and urbanization have brought people into direct conflict with many aspects of nature. This conflict has elicited important challenges such as climate change, ecosystem degradation, and increasing socioeconomic disasters from major natural hazards. As urban expansion subsumes rural landscapes, it co‐opts available raw materials (e.g., food and energy), and in the process pushes life‐sustaining ecosystem services to the limit.  

The ensuing changes in environmental conditions have enormous consequences for both people and places. Changes in climate and hydrology, for example, not only directly implicate societal well‐being (flooding, sea level rise, weather‐related disasters), but also have indirect implications on ecosystem processes, geophysical processes, biogeochemical cycles, and the general regulation of earth systems . Without a clear understanding of these implications and social–ecological interactions and feedbacks, it is impossible to reach the widely accepted and much desired goals of sustainable development.

This special issue comprises 19 papers covering three main topics on NBS approaches to (a) meeting large‐scale environmental challenges by problem mitigation or adaptation, (b) restoring degraded land and ecosystems as assessed in relatively small‐scale case‐studies; and (c) enhancing sustainable urbanization. Read further Case‐study assessment of mitigation–restoration of degraded land and ecosystems

Read open access articles in this issue of Land Degradation and Development journal