A Framework to Evaluate the SDG Contribution of Fluvial Nature-Based Solutions

Tatiana Andrikopoulou (Lead / Corresponding author), Ralph M. J. Schielen, Chris J. Spray, Cor A. Schipper, Astrid Blom

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)
    84 Downloads (Pure)


    Nature-based solutions (NBSs) are measures reflecting the ‘cooperation with nature’ approach: mitigating fluvial flood risk while being cost-effective, resource-efficient, and providing numerous environmental, social, and economic benefits. Since 2015, the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda has provided UN member states with goals, targets, and indicators to facilitate an integrated approach focusing on economic, environmental, and social improvements simultaneously. The aim of this study is to evaluate the contribution of fluvial NBSs to the UN 2030 Agenda, using all its components: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), targets, and indicators. We propose a four-step framework with inputs from the UN 2030 Agenda, scientific literature, and case studies. The framework provides a set of fluvial flooding indicators that are linked to SDG indicators of the UN 2030 Agenda. Finally, the fluvial flooding indicators are tested by applying them to a case study, the Eddleston Water Project, aiming to examine its contribution to the UN 2030 Agenda. This reveals that the Eddleston Water Project contributes to 9 SDGs and 33 SDG targets from environmental, economic, societal, policy, and technical perspectives. Our framework aims to enhance the systematic considerations of the SDG indicators, adjust their notion to the system of interest, and thereby enhance the link between the sustainability performance of NBSs and the UN 2030 Agenda.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number11320
    Number of pages25
    Issue number20
    Early online date13 Oct 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


    • Flooding
    • Indicators
    • Nature‐based solutions
    • River
    • Sustainability
    • Sustainable development goals

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
    • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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