A Framework for Evaluating Performance of Large-Scale Nature-Based Solutions to Reduce Hydro-Meteorological Risks and Enhance Co-benefits

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Over recent decades, hydro-meteorological disasters appear to be becoming more intense and frequent. Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) have been introduced to address hydro-meteorological risks as they offer the possibility of working closely with nature. This provides solutions to adapt to future changes in climate and society, as well as to achieve multiple benefits to services and functions of ecosystems. However, the performance and efficiency of NBS for hydro-meteorological risk reduction are still highly uncertain. Scientists and decision-makers require holistic perspectives and frameworks to help understand, evaluate and design NBS in such a way that can minimize social and economic losses, reduce environmental impacts and increase resilience to hydro-meteorological events. Therefore, methods or frameworks that can be used to evaluate NBS performance are necessary. In this work, a framework for evaluating large-scale NBS for hydro-meteorological risks is presented. The evaluation framework is separated into three main stages; identification of Indicators, before implementation (ex-ante) evaluation and after implementation (ex-post) evaluation. Developing a framework will be useful in assisting and supporting communities that wish to implement NBS for hydro-meteorological risk reduction, as well as communities that have implemented NBS and wish to assess their effectiveness. The work presented here is part of the EC-funded HORIZON 2020 RECONECT project (Regenerating Ecosystems with Nature-based solutions for hydro-meteorological risk rEduCTion).