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For Climate Week Veolia puts forward its nature-based solutions

The Climate Week is being held in New York from 23 to 27 September. Among the many events organized, Veolia participated in the event organized by The Nature Conservancy on "The large-scale deployment of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in all sectors". Pierre Victoria, Veolia's Director of Sustainable Development, gave the point of view of water sector companies. The consequences of climate change particularly impact water resources, both in terms of quality and availability. Nature-based solutions are able to provide a response to the challenge of adaptation. The recommendations resulting from these discussions will be forwarded to the Global Commission on Adaptation. 

 

Developing our knowledge regarding the effectiveness of NBS solutions 

In order to widely develop these solutions, it is essential to strengthen our knowledge and evaluate their performance. Initially, hybrid systems combining green (NBS) and grey (conventional water treatment) infrastructures can provide a treatment quality guarantee and prove their effectiveness.

To integrate nature-based solutions into our processes and offerings, we must work on a better understanding of the impact of these solutions on service performance. It is on the basis of an evaluation of these practices that they can be integrated into a long-term vision and deployed on a larger scale.
Pierre Victoria
Veolia's Director of Sustainable Development

NBS must be integrated into the water sector’s economic model 

The IPCC and IPBES global reports have highlighted the strong interconnections between climate, nature and biodiversity. To achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the economic model of water companies has to evolve and gradually include nature-based solutions. 
These companies will thus enable their customers to model, diagnose and implement effective actions and will need to bring together all the stakeholders (municipalities, industry, agriculture, NGOs, civil society) in a collective approach with a global vision in order to achieve it.

 

Satisfying people and achieving results for ecosystems

To design collective solutions, the Water Funds - an initiative from The Nature Conservancy - brings together the various stakeholders (public, private and civil society) who collaborate to secure water supplies and resolve the conflicts of use faced by cities. The goals: improve water security knowledge by providing scientific evidence; have a positive impact on water governance through a shared vision; develop cost-effective natural infrastructure (NBS) projects in watersheds (as in Mexico and Latin America); share the benefits of NBS with communities: well-being, recreation, education, economic attractiveness, green jobs, tourism.
 

The main challenge remains: moving away from the short term 

If we don’t act together and in the long term, irreversible damage will be caused to environmental and aquatic ecosystems. This is an urgent ecological as well as social and economic matter. NBS solutions can be effective, but they are based on our ability to collectively win the race against time in the fight against climate change.
Pierre Victoria
P. Victoria (1st on the left), with J. Bavishi (NYC), D. Herndon (Nestlé), C. Cunliffe (AXA) and H. Morgan (Aecom)