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Challenges and considerations of applying nature-based solutions in low- and middle-income countries in Southeast and East Asia

Lechner, Alex M.; Gomes, Rachel L.; Rodrigues, Lucelia; Ashfold, Matthew J.; Selvam, Sivathass Bannir; Wong, Ee Phin; Raymond, Christopher M.; Zieritz, Alexandra; Sing, Kong Wah; Billa, Lawal; Sagala, Saut; Moug, Peter; Cheshmehzangi, Ali; Lourdes, Karen; Azhar, Badrul; Sanusi, Ruzana; Ives, Christopher D.; Tang, Yu-Ting; Tan, David T.; Chan, Faith Ka Shun; Nath, Tapan Kumar; Sabarudin, Nur Aliya Binti; Metcalfe, Sarah E.; Gulsrud, Natalie M.; Schuerch, Mark; Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Macklin, Mark G.; Gibbins, Chris


Alex M. Lechner

Professor of Water & Resource Processing

Matthew J. Ashfold

Sivathass Bannir Selvam

Ee Phin Wong

Christopher M. Raymond

Kong Wah Sing

Lawal Billa

Saut Sagala

Peter Moug

Ali Cheshmehzangi

Karen Lourdes

Badrul Azhar

Ruzana Sanusi

Associate Professor

Yu-Ting Tang

David T. Tan

Faith Ka Shun Chan

Tapan Kumar Nath

Nur Aliya Binti Sabarudin

Natalie M. Gulsrud

Mark Schuerch

Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz

Mark G. Macklin

Chris Gibbins


Low- and middle-income countries in Southeast and East Asia face a range of challenges related to the rapid pace of urbanisation in the region, the scale of pollution, climate change, loss of ecosystem services and associated difficulties for ecological restoration. Possible pathways towards a more sustainable future lie in the applications of nature-based solutions (NBS). However, there is relatively little literature on the application of NBS in the region, particularly Southeast Asia. In this paper we address this gap by assessing the socio-ecological challenges to the application of NBS in the region – one of the most globally biodiverse. We first provide an overview and background on NBS and its underpinnings in biodiversity and ecosystem services. We then present a typology describing five unique challenges for the application of NBS in the region: (1) Characteristics of urbanisation; (2) Biophysical environmental and climatic context; (3) Environmental risks and challenges for restoration; (4) Human nature relationships and conflicts; and (5) Policy and governance context. Exploiting the opportunities through South-South and North-South collaboration to address the challenges of NBS in Southeast and East Asia needs to be a priority for government, planners and academics.


Lechner, A. M., Gomes, R. L., Rodrigues, L., Ashfold, M. J., Selvam, S. B., Wong, E. P., …Gibbins, C. (2020). Challenges and considerations of applying nature-based solutions in low- and middle-income countries in Southeast and East Asia. Blue-Green Systems, 2(1), 331-351.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 6, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 10, 2020
Publication Date Jan 1, 2020
Deposit Date Jan 5, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jan 5, 2021
Journal Blue-Green Systems
Publisher IWA Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 331-351
Public URL
Publisher URL


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