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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Nature Based Solutions: FELS+SMMI Networking Event

Published: 30 May 2022
Profs Steve Darby, Felix Eigenbrod

The Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences in partnership with the Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute recently held an in-person workshop to identify and draw together Southampton researchers with interests and expertise in Nature Based Solutions (NBS). Such nature-based actions can help protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, and play critical roles in mitigating climate change as well as increasing other benefits from nature that humans depend on–so-called ecosystem services. NBS include actions such as reforestation, climate-smart agriculture, natural flood or coastal management, or promoting microbial activities for waste and greenhouse-gas reductions. Research on how to effectively deploy NBS is highly interdisciplinary, as success depends on social, economic, bio-physiochemical and ecological conditions and acceptance of engineered enhancements of natural processes.

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There is a large community of researchers in Southampton with expertise in nature-based solutions and this event connected researchers from a range of disciplines from across the University.  The workshop held on 30th March, was convened by Profs Steve Darby, Felix Eigenbrod and Damon Teagle and held face-to-face in the Centenary Building.  The importance of NBS has been recognized by Government for meeting the ambitious goals outlined in the UK’s 25 Year Environmental Plan, as well as more broadly internationally. A number of recent funding calls have targeted NBS, and it is very likely that this area will continue to attract considerable funding in the future.  The goal of the workshop was to build awareness of NBS activities across the University of Southampton and create new links so that we can undertake societally essential research and be responsive to funding opportunities that require pre-formed multi-disciplinary teams.

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This work event was rounded off with a short reception that in no way constituted a party.  A booklet of posters and a record of participants’ interests and expertise has been prepared and is available here.

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