The purpose of the SDG Connection blog series is to illustrate that communities of all sizes can use frameworks like the United Nations Sustainable Development Guidelines to assess their own sustainable development efforts. This month’s topic is nature-based solutions.
How Can Nature Help us Fight Climate Change?
Think for a minute about the air you breathe, the waters where you paddle or fish, the trails you hike, the fields where you play. We have nature-based solutions to thank for those opportunities.
The technical definition of nature-based solutions is actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore ecosystems in order to simultaneously provide human well-being and biodiversity benefits. Those are some big words, but basically, we’re using nature to protect nature for the benefit of humans and, you guessed it, nature.
On a global scale, nature-based solutions are critical to the UN Sustainable Development Goals because they support biodiversity, access to resources, and the valuable services ecosystems provide. Same thing here in Devens where we enjoy approximately 2,100 acres of open space and recreational land, 1,500 acres of forest, and 9 miles of nature trails. These natural resources provide many benefits like cleaning our air and water, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere, and improving health and well-being of those working and living in Devens.
What is Devens Doing to Promote Natural Solutions?
Devens is incorporating nature-based solutions by:
- Supporting nature through actions in the Devens Forward Plan to ensure our open spaces and natural resources are healthy, protected, and accessible.
- Aligning with President Biden’s 30x30 Vision, having already preserved at least 30% of open space by 2030.
- Offering regulatory and financial incentives for projects that incorporate green infrastructure, such as rain gardens or green roofs, into development to meet sustainability objectives.
- Evaluating feasibility of nature-based solutions at sites throughout Devens through the Apple County Natural Climate Solutions Project
What Can Businesses and Residents do to Make an Impact?
Interested in supporting natural solutions in Devens? Follow some of these tips!
- Plant native species or transition to sustainable landscaping practices around your home or business.
- Encourage your employees to get outside, which has been shown to improve well-being and productivity.
- Support local conservation organizations, like Nashua River Watershed Association, that care for our surrounding natural assets.