Institutional embedding


Building with Nature should fit into the local institutional contexts, norms, and regulations. Meanwhile, policies and processes can be developed to support co-creation, partnerships, and funding schemes necessary to enable Building with Nature implementation. Key aspects to consider:

  • Fitting Building with Nature in the existing context, norms and regulations
  • Creating an enabling policy environment in which conservations laws and formal instruments are addressed
  • Connecting with the international enabling developments, including the Paris Agreement, Sendai Framework, AICHI targets, CBD, Ramsar and UNCCD resolutions and SDGs

Being context-specific requires Building with Nature to fit with the institutional context in a beneficial way. ‘Institutions’ are the written and unwritten rules in society, and they are always based on past experiences. Existing institutions can sometimes be inadequate for dealing with innovative, dynamic and multi-functional approaches, such as Building with Nature. Traditional institutional structures are usually designed to facilitate implementation of static and monofunctional hydraulic infrastructure and thus have difficulties to enable dynamic, multi-functional Building with Nature approaches. Most current institutional systems organize environmental issues and infrastructure separately, while cooperation is needed to fully embrace the benefits of Building with Nature. As an example, dike reinforcement projects in the Netherlands should guarantee a well-defined safety level for a certain time period, which due to its dynamics and development is harder to predict for Building with Nature designs.

Creating an enabling policy environment and connecting with the international developments are key to come to application and implementation of Building with Nature. For this, it is necessary to be able to identify, understand and engage with regulatory and other aspects of the institutional context. It is advisable to start studying the institutional context early-on, to avoid procedural mistakes that are difficult to correct later. Once the relevant institutional issues are identified, one can respond to any emerging barriers by providing practical solutions, and to inspire legislators to develop an (international) enabling policy environment for more dynamic and multi-functional approaches to nature conservation and development.

This enabler sections discusses methodologies to obtain knowledge and insights on the institutional context and methods for dealing with it. In addition, the interactions between Building with Nature and the international enabling environment for Nature-based Solutions are reflected upon.