Day 1: GISTeck Team Participation: PHUSICOS Summer School Workshop on NBS


GISTeck Team Participation: PHUSICOS Summer School Workshop on NBS

Technical University of Munich, Germany

This blog is representing the participation of GISTeck Team in the global agenda of resolving climate change issues through nature based solutions. Due to Covid-19 situation the workshop has been held virtually via zoom platform. Following is the description of Day 1 activities of the webinar attended by GISTeck Team.

Figure 1: PHUSICOS Webinar Participants (TU Munich)

The webinar is organized by PHUSICOS project with a focus on learning about implemented Nature Based Solutions in mountain areas. The training program consisted of inspirational discussions, independent project work on case sites, and virtual lectures from the technical University of Munich (Germany), the University of Napoli (Italy), the University of Tours (France), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria), and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (Norway).

Participants have received insights on PHUSICOS and other Horizon 2020 projects, attended virtual lectures, worked individually on specific case sites of their choice and in groups to spark collaboration, and discussed specific topics. The summer school will be covering the following topics:

Figure 2: PHUSICOS Webinar Agenda of 8 Days

The aim of this webinar is to bring together students, young researchers, young professional and scientific experts to examine research findings as well as practical experiences on planning and design of Nature Based Solutions to mitigate flood risks in mountainous regions.

Day 1 Participant’s Introduction and NBS Basics

Webinar started with the formal introduction from the organizers followed by 22 participants from all around the globe. GISTeck Team members Mrs. Maria Riffat and Mr. Ahsan Ali has introduced themselves and shared their respective research activities.

Organizers then introduced a breakout session in which each two participants got their own Zoom online room where they held interviews from their respective partner and noted answers for the questions given by the organizers to ask.

At that point participants got two minutes to introduce their partner and all other participants have guessed from the collages previously submitted by all the participants. The submitted collages from each participant can be seen below.

Figure 3: Collages of the Participants

Collages contain all the relevant information about participant’s profession, expertise, hobbies, and geographical location except their own names, which made this session very interesting as participants have to guess based on information on the collages and the partner describing the other person. All the participants have made wild guesses to identify the person being described. So to make the webinar more thrilling each member of the webinar was introduced for the first time with someone else’s phraseology.

Then the session proceeded with the presentation from one of organizers Miss Amy Oen – Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), Oslo, Norway, where she provided valuable inputs about the PHUSICOS project and its linkages for successful implementations of nature based solutions in different parts of Europe.

After that the organizers have provided YouTube links of three introductory videos which are as follows:

participants got 20 minutes to watch these videos and understand the idea on nature based solutions (NBS).

Brainstorming session

As a next step based on videos and participant’s own knowledge, organizer asked the participants to add definition of nature-based solution from their own understanding where different participant gave following definitions for the nature based solutions (NBS):

‘’ Solutions to societal challenges based on ecosystem processes, ecosystem restoration and enhancement of ecosystem services’’

‘’ NBS for risk reduction aims to achieve its core goal, to reduce risks, as well as to gain multiple benefits for both humans and natural systems (e.g. bio diversity, air quality, human well-being).’’

‘’ It’s the implementation of solutions that takes into consideration the complexities of the coupled socio-ecological system that we live in. For that, it’s an interdisciplinary approach with the intention to find the optimal solution for both humans and nature in the long run.’’

‘’ NBS is a way to preserve biodiversity and develop ecosystem, as well as promote human well-beings.’’

‘’ Design and develop natural and urban areas based on understanding natural ecosystems, dynamics, geography. topography, etc.’’

‘’Social inequality is an example of a societal challenge. Slums and poorer areas are sometimes not as protected from climate hazards as more expensive places. This needs to be considered in NBS objectives’’

Afterwards, the participants have been asked to provide objectives for the NBS, nominated objectives are as follows:

  • it aims to mitigate the diverse societal challenges while gaining diverse co-benefits
  • Improve or restore ecosystems and social and economic well-being
  • Mitigate climate risks, restore the ecosystem, meet the needs of the local populations and protect the natural systems
  • tackle societal issues by promoting ecological, economic and social benefits
  • Promote biodiversity, ecosystem integrity and health, consistency with the strong sustainability theory, socially optimal solution

As a next step, participant have been asked to suggest potential risks where NBS can be implemented as solution, which are as follows:

  • floods, firewood, storm, avalanche, landslides, eratic rainfall, extreme heat
  • natural hazards, poverty, climate change
  • natural hazards, such as tropical storms, landslides, floods

then organizers have made another one to one breakout sessions between each two participants so that the can discuss and note down mutual understanding of NBS definition, objectives and risks followed by another breakout session where organizers have gathered group of four participants to the draft a mutual understanding of NBS definition, objective and risk and then present their draft for all other participant so that remaining participants can ask question and clear their queries meanwhile organizers also contributed to lineup basic understanding of NBS to all the participants.

Day 1 session ended

Session for the Day 1 was concluded with the remarks and material for self-study by the organizers to resume to the Day 2 activities.

Here you can see Day 2

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