2021 CIEEM Irish conference - Nature Based Solutions: Opportunities in a time of Biodiversity Crisis and Climate Emergency

JBA are pleased to have presented two expert speakers at the 2021 CIEEM Conference, which has a focus on Nature Based Solutions: Opportunities in a time of Biodiversity Crisis and Climate Emergency.

Emily Rick presented “Nature-based solutions at the core of green infrastructure plans for the River Camcor, Birr, Co. Offaly”.  

The presentation provides an overview of the River Camcor study, which aimed to provide a series of nature-based opportunities for improvement to the River Camcor and the adjacent public open spaces. Through stakeholder consultation and baseline surveys across multiple disciplines, we were able to produce a plan for the management of the river to balance public amenity and create opportunities for biodiversity. The overall outputs were:

  1. Delivery of a suite of actionable projects for the management of the River Camcor and the river corridor with an appropriate balance of use between civic amenity and wildlife
  2. Over-arching guidance to Birr Municipal District and Birr Tidy Towns on the management of the river in the areas under their control.

This project provided an opportunity for collaboration between the disciplines in Landscape Architecture, Ecology, Hydromorphology, and Civil Engineering within JBA Ireland.

Tom Sampson also presented on a "Strategic Approach to NBS for Irish Flood Relief Schemes".  This builds upon work being carried out as the Limerick and Dublin based teams progress five flood relief schemes across the country, all with a clear brief to explore and develop nature based solutions.

Key messages from Tom's presentation included:

  • A strategic approach is necessary to identifying and appraising catchment and local scale Nature Based Solutions as core components, or complementary measures to flood risk management schemes.
  • The starting point can be either to map and identify opportunities, or to use hydrological and hydraulic models to determine the potential scale of benefits from nature based solutions.
  • Integration of existing and future funding streams will be critical to delivering Nature Based Solutions as standalone and complementary measures for flood risk management.
  • Change will be required to deliver – this has started.

Further details on the conference are available through CIEEM, here.