A High-Level Virtual Discussion on Valuing Nature-Based Infrastructure

October 25, 2021  |  3:30 pm to 5:00 pm (CEST)

Aerial view of road between green summer forest and blue lake in Finland
About this Event

Infrastructure provides essential services worldwide that communities rely on. But how do we ensure that new infrastructure is cost effective, environmentally friendly, and resilient to changing climates? The answer lies in nature. 

Building with nature offers us a more sustainable alternative to engineered or “grey” infrastructure. Its regenerative characteristics make it more efficient and less expensive to manage and maintain—it is much less carbon-intensive, it can help communities adapt to climate change, and it provides a wide range of additional benefits, from job creation to improved well-being for citizens.  

In sum, nature-based infrastructure can provide valuable ecosystem services and adaptation benefits, all while supplying public services that generate sustainable patterns of development. Over the longer term, it offers long-term value for money—so why is the value of forests, mangroves, wetlands, grasslands, agricultural lands, trees, and green spaces so often overlooked?  

The reason nature-based infrastructure is not being scaled up enough to fulfill its potential is because our knowledge of its performance, predictability, and financial viability has—until now—been limited.  

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the MAVA Foundation are partnering with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to address this challenge with the launch of the Nature-Based Infrastructure (NBI) Global Resource Centre—a global hub for nature-based infrastructure. 

The NBI Global Resource Centre aims to overcome the evidence gap that investors, project developers, and other key stakeholders face when they evaluate whether to invest in nature. 

This global event launched the NBI Global Resource Centre and offered a unique high-level perspective from leaders in the field on how to scale up nature-based infrastructure and make the most of the innovative services offered by the new platform.  



  • Chizuru Aoki, Lead Environmental Specialist, The Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  • André Hoffmann, President, MAVA Foundation
  • Li Yong, Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • Richard Florizone, President and CEO, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • Professor Josephine Kaviti Musango, Stellenbosch University
  • Aloke Barnwal, Senior Climate Change Specialist, The Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Moderator: Dr. Sandy Andelman, Vice-President Conservation Strategy & Partnerships at Wildlife Conservation Society



Press Coverage

Turning infrastructure green offers huge savings on top of climate benefits | Reuters

‘Natural infrastructure’ could save billions a year in climate crisis response | Climate crisis | The Guardian

Turning infrastructure green offers huge savings on top of climate benefits | Science-Environment (devdiscourse.com)

Using Nature in Infrastructure Projects Could Save US$248bn Per Year – Study (livingarchitecturemonitor.com)