IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are a powerful way to address societal challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and food security.  

As the world strives to move towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we must ensure that investments in nature contribute to the health and well-being of people and the planet.  

The IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions guides users to design and implement NbS in a way that allows nature to deliver its valuable ecosystem services. In addition, the Global Standard sets clear benchmarks to measure the progress of NbS. 

A Framework to Enhance Impact and Measure Success 

The Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions was developed through public consultation with over 800 practitioners and experts from more than 100 countries. 

The result is a robust framework that helps increase the impact and scale of Nature-based Solutions. 

This framework consists of 8 criteria with 28 associated indicators with guiding questions that help the user assess and improve their solution. 

The IUCN Global Standard also functions as a tool for funding agencies, policymakers and other stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of interventions. 

Explore the IUCN Global Standard for NbS and its Guidance document


The Global Standard is a multi-dimensional and versatile tool for users at the local, national and global level.

Online Self-Assessment Tool 

Users of the Global Standard are encouraged to also use the IUCN Online NbS Self-Assessment Tool. This tool can be used to: 

  • design new Nature-based Solutions; 
  • upscale pilots by identifying gaps;
  • self-assess past projects and future proposals. 

The tool guides users to self-assess their intervention and find out how well they may meet the requirements of the Global Standard. The outcome is a report with the results of the self-assessment. The tool is available to all and has no limits for usage.  

Explore the IUCN Self-Assessment Tool.

International Standard Committee  

The International Standard Committee (ISC) is a governing body of the Global Standard. ISC is responsible for revising the criteria every four years. In this way, they enable improvement of the Global Standard and enhance engagement with the Nature-based Solutions approach across sectors. 

The development of the IUCN Global Standard has been funded by the French Development Agency AfD.