ReNaturing cities through collaboration for nature-based solutions: The final project conference
After three years filled with exciting training events, nature-based solutions studies and stakeholder engagement activities, ReNature held the project’s final conference on 15 and 16 June 2021 in an entirely online environment.
The project’s final Advisory Board meeting and General Assembly took place on 15 June, whereas the official closing event was held on 16 June and was open for the wider public. The event was participated by all ReNature members from the partnering countries Malta, Italy, Ireland, the UK and Bulgaria, along with external guests who joined the event as keynote speakers, as well as the Project Officer.
The main objective of the gathering was to showcase some of the most memorable achievements of the project, such as the ReNature-organised capacity-building training schools and networking events. The successful collaborations for implementing NbS were also discussed, along with the takeaway messages of the project. Last but not least, the ReNature consortium outlined the upcoming final steps and research endeavours before the project’s official ending in August 2021.
Within the many insightful topics discussed throughout the meeting, the external lecturers also presented keynote aspects on how to successfully use interlinkages in order to create a natural way to foster urban health and well-being, how the various EU organisations involved in the project have addressed the societal challenges in relation to the implementation of NbS and how to effectively use the benefits of nature-based solutions for the adaptation of the ongoing climate change threats.
A very important topic that has been further discussed has been the development of a blueprint for future NbS. Within its lifespan, ReNature has established the first open-source Compendium for nature-based solutions, which has originally been focused on the Maltese area, but has now been expanded to the whole Mediterranean region and consists of 95 examples of NbS. In accordance with this, ReNature’s partners from the Trinity CollegeDublin, Ireland are amplifying the ReNature Compendium with an interactive Toolkit for practitioners.
During the meeting, while taking a look back at the prosperous journey that ReNature has been, it was concluded that the project successfully fulfilled its main objectives. Namely, through the active engagement of stakeholders, the general awareness in Malta towards the excellence of NbS has been significantly increased. Despite facing the Covid-19 restrictions, ReNature adapted to the situation and pioneered "blended-learning" in the nature-based solutions arena. Last but not least, the successful organisation and implementation of ReNature’s seven capacity-building events, placed Malta as a leading example for fostering NbS in the Mediterranean region.