How forest bioeconomies can support nature-based solutions

Chatham House briefing Updated 7 February 2024 Published 30 March 2023 ISBN: 978 1 78413 553 9 DOI: 10.55317/9781784135539
An official is tending rows of seedlings in a propagator

Nature-based solutions – activities that generate multiple benefits for biodiversity and society through the protection, management or restoration of ecosystems – are a potential tool in managing land use to meet climate and biodiversity targets while protecting human livelihoods. With less than a decade to limit global warming below the 1.5°C target laid out in the Paris Agreement, the current funding gap for nature-based solutions must urgently be bridged.

The development of nature-based solutions in the forest sector, where there is already a strong history of institutional investment, can support the shift to a global bioeconomy in which supply chains utilize biologically derived and renewable materials as opposed to fossil fuels. In turn, forest bioeconomies can provide reliable cashflow for nature-based solutions, alleviating investor perceptions of elevated risk and uncertain returns. But policies, investments and innovations must be designed to ensure social and environmental integrity of nature-based solutions in the forest sector, and to avoid a ‘land crunch’ arising from future demand within the bioeconomy.