Launch of Tokyo-NbS Action

Written by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Environment. (translation by ICLEI Japan)


Nature-based solutions (NbS) are one of several targets in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, adopted at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity held in December 2022.


What is NbS?

The approach to solve various social issues through the sustainable use of the functions of nature is called “Nature-based Solutions: NbS”. IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) defines NbS as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems in ways that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, to provide both human well-being and biodiversity benefits”.

NbS includes Green Infrastructure, Eco-DRR (Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction), and EbA (Ecosystem-based Adaptation), etc., and it can be said that it is just a concept that plays a role as “an umbrella” to integrate them. Additionally, as NbS addresses social challenges including climate change and natural disasters, and contributes to both human well-being and biodiversity benefits, initiatives that utilize nature’s functions but simultaneously cause loss of biodiversity do not fall under NbS.


What is Tokyo-NbS Action?


Biodiversity has various values that contribute to solving social issues including food supply and disaster prevention, and promotion of stress reduction through the presence of green spaces, etc. In order to use the blessings of biodiversity in a sustainable manner and utilize the functions of nature to improve the lives of Tokyo’s residents, it is necessary for entities including the administration, businesses, and private organizations to promote various efforts that will lead to NbS together.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government considers this period until 2030 as the ‘NbS establishment period’ and aims for each entity to implement NbS initiatives. Therefore, the Tokyo-NbS Action will disseminate case studies of how the functions of ecosystems can be used to address social issues faced by the metropolis as well as how they can contribute to both human well-being and biodiversity, and will promote NbS initiatives by various actors by making the various values of nature ‘visible’.


Tokyo-NbS Action Concept

Tokyo-NbS Action utilizes the function of ecosystems to address the social issues facing Tokyo and contribute to both human well-being and biodiversity.

    • Contributing to biodiversity means that actions lead to the conservation, management, restoration, and sustainable use of ecosystems.
    • In cooperation with stakeholders, due consideration is given to the effectiveness, impact, and scope of the initiatives


The Path Ahead

At the kick-off event on 30 January 2024, various national and international case studies were  shared. Some of these case studies, such as New York City (ICLEI US member), show the effectiveness of NbS in improving the attractiveness and resilience of cities.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is inviting companies, private organizations, and government agencies to become Tokyo-NbS Action Members, who will participate in various nature-based activities. Tokyo-NbS Action aims to harness the power of nature to address Tokyo’s  social issues, carefully considering its effects and impacts, and working with stakeholders to contribute to both human well-being and biodiversity.

For more information, visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Environment’s official website.