Hundreds of participants from 36 countries around the world – from Spain to Singapore, and from Poland to the Philippines – tuned in today for the launch of the Connecting Nature Enterprise Platform.
The University of East London supported the development of the platform, which acts as a marketplace connecting the increasing global market demand for natural infrastructure solutions with innovative enterprises developing nature-based solutions.
The environmental benefits of natural infrastructure such as living roofs and walls, sustainable drainage systems, natural wastewater treatments, constructed wetlands and so on, are well known. However, its economic impact has yet to be fully explored until now.
The Connecting Nature Enterprise Platform, which was launched by John Bell, Director of Healthy Planet, DG Research & Innovation at the European Commission, and Hazel Chu, Lord Mayor of Dublin on Wednesday 21st October puts the spotlight firmly on the potential of nature-based enterprises as an emerging industry sector.
The platform has been created through a collaboration between Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin and brings together a number of existing market sectors from landscape architecture to green building construction.
Connecting Nature, co-ordinated by Trinity, and involving the University of East London’s Sustainability Research Institute as a key partner, is a five-year €12m Horizon 2020 project focusing on the large-scale implementation of nature-based solutions to build climate resilience in cities. Demand for these green-friendly techniques has increased exponentially in recent years in line with recognition that they could provide up to 30% of the mitigation required to stabilise global warming to below 2oC.
Dr Stuart Connop, senior research fellow at the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI), at the University of East London, said,