Hubs Gather at the NetworkNature Annual Event
This summer, Nature-based Solutions (NbS) hubs from around the world gathered in Brussels as part of the annual NetworkNature event. This gathering brought together NbS Hub representatives from across the world, including UrbanByNature Hubs such as the Spain Hub, the Caucasus Hub, and the Brazil Hub, as well as hubs launched with support from NetworkNature in the Nordic region Hungary, Ukraine, Portugal , Poland and Italy. Hub representatives discussed their advancements, challenges, and outlined their goals for the upcoming year.
The day began with PechaKucha style presentations where each Hub showcased their unique starting points and shared inspiring actions and accomplishments. These presentations showcased a range of innovative projects and exemplified good practices that are making a positive impact on the resilience and sustainability of cities and regions. The exchange of ideas and success stories among the Hubs was not only uplifting but also instrumental in motivating each other to take similar actions within their respective regions.
As the day progressed, participants engaged in roundtable discussions, where the representatives from the Hubs discussed upcoming challenges and collaboration opportunities. There was considerable agreement upon the importance of joining forces to tackle shared challenges and take advantage of synergies. Possible regional collaboration models were explored, and various ways in which the new project NetworkNature+, a continuation of NetworkNature, presents an opportunity to support hubs in strengthening their leadership in nature-based solutions.
The need to strengthen the branding of the all Horizon project affiliated NbS Hubs was a recurring theme in the discussions. It was emphasized that these Hubs' legitimacy and recognition are essential for enabling them to lead regional projects and initiatives with greater effect and scope. Additionally, it was stressed how crucial it is to secure long-term sustainable financing for the Hubs. Diverse options were explored, such as taking part in joint projects and seeking opportunities at the European, National, and Regional levels. It was deemed essential to diversify financial sources and look for strategic alliances to be able to ensure the continuity and growth of the Hubs.
Cecília Herzog, a representative of the Urbanbynature Brazilian hub, took the opportunity to present the latest advancements in establishing a nature-based solutions association in Brazil and emphasised that participation in UbN has given her and other regional participants valuable insights into such work.
The NbS Hubs Day proved to be an invaluable opportunity for enabling cooperation among the different Hubs, fostering the sharing of knowledge, and nurturing a sense of collective purpose. All of the Hubs reaffirmed their dedication to mainstreaming nature-based solutions to build sustainable cities and communities, and the meeting provided a solid foundation for ongoing collaboration, enabling the Hubs to collectively drive positive change and advance towards their shared objectives. There will be a chance for further hub collaboration at the CLEVER Cities final conference September 26-27: Nature in the City — Advancing Social Impact through NbS.