Publications (FIS)

Attitudes of political-administrative decision makers towards the implementation of nature-based solutions in water management–a case study on a hypothetical constructed wetland in the Tárcoles River basin

authored by
Franka Pätzke, Christoph Schulze, Jochen Hack, Karina Castro-Arce, Veronica Alejandra Neumann, Barbara Schröter

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are actions that help communities address social-ecological challenges such as flooding and polluted groundwater. Nevertheless, research shows that in practice, NBS confront several barriers in planning and implementation, many of which are related to the different attitudes of political and administrative actors. There is knowledge missing on their viewpoints on NBS. We used Q-methodology to explore the attitudes towards the implementation of a constructed wetland as NBS, interviewing decision-makers from the Tárcoles River Basin Commission in Costa Rica, the administrative body in charge of the integrated management of the river. We determined three recognizable viewpoints: ‘the nature lover’, ‘the cost concerned’, and ‘the participation seeker’. Although all members of the commission shared a common vision, it was clear that their priorities differed. Regarding the ways of implementing NBS, interviewees agreed that the country urges a paradigm shift in policy design towards ecosystem-based approaches and emphasized the need for more cooperation among bodies of administration in river basin decision-making. We reflect on the lessons learned to improve planning and implementation of NBS, such as the importance of increasing knowledge and awareness of NBS, the support from all governance levels as well as the cooperation of researchers and policy-makers, and the consideration of NBS financing by private companies.

Digital Environmental Planning
Institute of Environmental Planning
External Organisation(s)
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)
Universidad de Costa Rica
Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS)
Ecosystems and People
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Ecology, Nature and Landscape Conservation, Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 13 - Climate Action, SDG 14 - Life Below Water, SDG 15 - Life on Land
Electronic version(s) (Access: Open)