More than 50 people attended the event. The event can be divided into three parts.
In the first part, Olesia Petrovych, Head of the WWF Ukraine and coordinator of the newly created hub, spoke. She briefly spoke about the results of the InSuRe project and described the specifics of the platform's work and the future development plans for the hub. Representatives of various EU committees responsible for implementing the Green Deal and environmentally friendly solutions also spoke. Among them were.
Anna Bruen and Bettina Wilk represented the European Secretariat of ICLEI https://iclei-europe.org/ and NetworkNature (https://networknature.eu/). ICLEI is a global network of Local Governments for Sustainable Development, which brings together more than 2500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development and operates in 125+ countries. ICLEI Europe supports local governments in implementing the European Green Deal, the EU's comprehensive strategy for climate neutrality, to build more sustainable and equitable communities.
NetworkNature is a resource for the nature-based solutions community, creating opportunities for local, regional, and international cooperation to maximize the impact and spread of nature-based solutions. The European Commission funds the project under the Horizon 2020 program.
Anna and Betita emphasized high expectations for developing Ukraine’s Hub for Nature-based Solutions. They urged the Ukrainian participants of the Hub to be active and promised all possible assistance.
Natalija Doya, Policy Officer, and Gilles Doignon, Team Leader, Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions represented DG RTD of the European Commission, the Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation responsible for EU policy in research, science, and innovation to promote economic growth, create jobs and address significant societal challenges. They spoke about financial opportunities for Ukraine and research opportunities for nature-based solutions and emphasized the importance of the active participation of Ukrainians in existing calls and circles.
Karin Zaunberger, International Relations Officer, and Andrzej Januszewski, Policy Officer from the Ukraine and Moldova Unit, DG ENVI, are responsible for EU environmental policy, which ensures a high level of environmental protection and preservation of the quality of life of EU citizens. They spoke about the possibilities of nature-based solutions to create jobs and promote reconstruction and recovery, which is extremely important for Ukraine.
In the second part, the existing Hubs shared their achievements and emphasized the prospects for further cooperation.
The Nordic HUB was represented by Jona Olavsdottir, who said that, just like the Ukrainian Hub, they received an invitation from the Nature Network because they had previously successfully implemented a project related to nature-based solutions. In a short time, almost six months, they became a center for developing nature-based solutions in the region and already have exciting cases. Jona attended the meeting with her colleagues, including Leonard Sandin.
Minika Nemeth presented the Hungarian hub. The Hub collaborates closely with WWF in Ugoscia, which is why they can be effective. The Hub provides opportunities for like-minded people to gather, plan joint solutions and initiatives, and advocate for critical nature-based initiatives.
Gillian Dick spoke about the Scottish Hub, which tries to cooperate not only on joint events but also on joint research and practical implementation of solutions.
Shushanik Asmaryan and Mamuka Gvilava spoke about the achievements of the Caucasus eco-region's hub of nature-based solutions. It is worth noting that these were the only representatives who emphasized the importance of nature-based solutions in spatial planning, especially for the strategic environmental assessment procedure.
The third part of the event was dedicated to the partners of the Ukrainian hub. Orest Kyiko, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor of the Ukrainian National Forestry University (UNFU), Head of the Furniture Production Department, spoke about the environmental activities of the Ukrainian National Forestry University. He emphasized the importance of nature-based solutions for furniture production technology and wood products technology.
Nataliia Vysotska, PhD, Deputy Director for Research at the Ukrainian Research Institute of Forestry and Forest Reclamation named after H.M. Vysotskyi. She spoke about the importance of ERP for climate change adaptation and recovery. Anatoliy Smaliychuk, Associate Professor, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, National Coordinator of the Michael Succow Foundation National Project in Ukraine (2016-2022) Spoke about climate change adaptation and sustainable development in Ukrainian biosphere reserves. Diana Popfalushi, project manager at Plato (Lviv), eco-activist, podcaster. Urban garden and park space "Nursery" as a platform for promoting nature-based solutions and green participation (Lviv) solutions and green participation (Lviv, Ukraine).
The event was also attended by representatives of the public sector, various educational and research institutions, and representatives of the Nature Reserve Fund and the Bar Association.
Nature-based solutions are a way to meet people's needs and overcome social challenges with the help of nature in a nature-friendly way. Such solutions contribute to increasing the resilience of society, communities, and households to climate change, natural disasters, risks associated with water and food shortages, etc., and are simple and cost-effective.
Environmental solutions are increasingly becoming the main resource for creating new approaches and improving existing ones to ensure sustainable development. NetworkNature supports the creation of nature-based solutions hubs across Europe to ensure the spread of nature-based solutions.
Hubs are networks focused on a geographical region or country and composed of individuals, organizations, and public institutions working on nature-based solutions. Hubs collaborate internally and externally to collect and transfer knowledge about nature-based solutions. Hub activities can focus on sectoral activities, policy mainstreaming, awareness raising, partnership development, and/or solution implementation. These activities take place in different environments (urban and rural) and involve stakeholders from different disciplines and backgrounds.
Hubs of nature-based solutions formalize collaborative work between organizations and networks at local, regional, and national levels. Collaboration within the hubs will help build the capacity of partners, share knowledge with other actors, and develop new partnerships for joint action. NetworkNature will explore how to link its hubs with others in Europe established under the Connecting Nature project.
NetworkNature is committed to providing a variety of benefits to hub participants, including but not limited to: support in setting up hubs, promotion of hub activities, biannual webinars, and access to state-of-the-art knowledge and networks. Hubs provide great opportunities to expand your work on nature-based solutions!