Nature-Based Solutions from Theory to Practice: Comparing France and the U.S.


Why this project?

Nature-based solutions (NbS) are a recent policy tool used to limit and cope with water-related risks such as flood risks while preserving biodiversity. This concept has been defined at a global scale by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is now being adopted and implemented in many countries. NbS can be seen as an innovative way of overcoming the classical opposition between flood risk protection versus ecological preservation. However, so far little is known about how this globally-defined concept actually unfolds at national and sub-national scales.

The project “Nature-Based Solutions: from Theory to Practice” is a collaboration between INRAE, the National Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, ENGEES, the National School for Water and Environmental Engineering, CNAM, The Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, and the University of California Berkeley, with Dr. Joana Guerrin leading the French team and Dr. Anna Serra-Llobet leading the US team. This project is focused on NbS related to flood risk reduction and compares (1) how France and the US are developing the concept of NbS, in particular to see how NbS is defined by different agencies and institutions in each country, (2) how NbS projects are implemented, and (3) what metrics are used to assess and evaluate the social and environmental impacts of these projects. This three-year project (2021-2023) has specific case studies in both countries.


05 June 2024


Conference on Nature-based Solutions and Water-related Risks in Strasbourg

We organize a social sciences conference on Nature-based Solutions and Water-related risks in Strasbourg (5, 6 and 7 of June 2024). Please register before the 20th of May 2024 !
people walking in a park in Angers
After 3 years working with us, Ludovic is leaving the project for a new job !
We are organizing an international conference on NbS and social sciences in June 2024 in Strasbourg.
logo de la revue TSM
Members of the research consortium contributed to the special issue of the journal TSM on the topic of Nature-Based Solutions.



26 April 2023

Redaction: LD

The Allier River

The Allier River is the largest tributary of the Loire River. It is a dynamic river with a rich biodiversity facing multiple challenges. Local actors are embracing NbS to tackle these challenges.
fleuve berges

02 August 2023

Redaction: LD

The Research Consortium

The program brings together a team of eleven researchers from different institutions in France (INRAE, ENGEES, CNAM) and in the US (University of California Berkeley). The consortium brings together researchers from multiple disciplines: humanities and social sciences, sociology, political sciences, geography, environmental sciences, fluvial geomorphology and ecological engineering.

26 April 2023

Redaction: LD

The old salt pans of Camargue

Located at the mouth of the Rhône River, the Camargue faces multiple risks related to climate change.