Nature Based Solutions 2017 Conference in Tallinn

Estonian EU Presidency Conference Showcased Nature-based Solutions as Innovative Means to Healthy and Sustainable Living

NBS 2017

From October 24th – 26th the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union hosted a high-level environmental conference “Nature-based Solutions: From innovation to Common Use”. More than 400 scientists, experts and nature enthusiasts from around the world convened at Tallinn University to discuss how to best integrate solutions inspired by nature into urban environments and everyday life.

SGIA was represented at the Conference by Board members Marja Mesimäki and David Brasfield.

Nature-based solutions refers to the sustainable management and use of nature to address various environmental and social challenges. Examples of nature-based solutions include urban green spaces and wetlands, green walls and roofs, and permeable surfaces that help regulate stormwater, alleviate urban heat island effect, reduce air pollution, increase biodiversity, while also also improving overall well-being.

The conference featured several leading European policy makers and experts, including Siim Kiisler, Estonian Minister for the Enviroment, Kęstutis Navickas, Lithuanian Minister for the Enviroment, Stewart Maginnis, Global Director of Nature-based Solutions with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency (EEA), Patrick Child and Joanna Drake, Deputy Director Generals in the European Commission, Lena Ek, President of Swedish forestry cooperative Södra, Marjolein Helder, CEO of Plant-E and member of the EU’s High Level Group of Innovators, and many others.

Europe is a leader in the field of nature-based solutions, possessing the necessary knowledge base, best practices, and, most importantly, political will. However, in order to better promote nature-based solutions, suitable business models that are based on sound science and viable case studies still need to be developed.

The conference “Nature-based Solutions: From Innovation to Common-use”, part of the official programme of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, was organised by the Estonian Ministry of the Environment in collaboration with Tallinn University, and the European Commission.

The conference was livestreamed, and can be viewed at

Official conference website: 

For more information on EU policy on nature-based solutions, please visit