Following the identification of educational needs in French higher education syllabi (ref. Action A1), Action C4 was focused on the creation of a learning module that is flexibly designed for various levels, backgrounds and disciplines. The module consists of eight parts, with each spanning across three hours of time. Globally, the 24 hours module covers the whole Nature-Based Solutions/Nature-Based adaptation Solutions (NBS-NBaS) spectrum with topics ranging from physical knowledge, to conceptual, normative, social and technical dimensions. Within each part of the module, a generic and an ecosystem-specific session are presented. The first brings together basic knowledge with recent advances, while the second targets in-depth knowledge in eight distinct ecosystems (urban, agricultural, forested, natural, mountainous, freshwater, marine/coastal, and various i.e. two or more media).

The module was designed to be integrated either as a whole or through individual blocks. In this regard, each of the eight blocks can be considered as an individual entity, while the eight combined ensure a rich transitional knowledge. In light of what was presented, the pedagogical objectives of the module are:

  • To establish a physical understanding of climate change and its challenges.
  • To introduce and master the concepts of NBS-NBaS and their variations with respect to different ecosystems and challenges.
  • To provide the scientific knowledge needed for understanding the ecosystem services provided by NBaS.
  • To provide the necessary knowledge/technical bases needed for leading a NBaS project from its design to its monitoring and evaluation phases.
  • To ensure a multidisciplinary content covering the diversity of themes involved in NBS-NBaS.

Accordingly, the module is organized as follows:

  1. Introduction to climate change: (1) causes and manifestations; (2) concepts, works of the IPCC, uncertainties and action on climate; and (3) climate change per target ecosystem.
  2. NBS and NBaS: (1) introduction to the concept and to its potential; (2) barriers and gaps facing NBS-NBaS; and (3) a profile of NBS-NBaS per ecosystem.
  3. Ecological engineering and multidisciplinary approaches: (1) theory and background; (2) the NBS-NBaS ecological engineering nexus; and (3) ecological engineering per target ecosystem.
  4. NBaS and Geosciences: (1) understanding the implicated physical processes; (2) the scale quandary; and (3) evaluating the efficiency and performance of NBS-NBaS.
  5. Stakeholders: (1) finding, identifying and mapping relevant stakeholders; (2) speaking the “stakeholder” language; and (3) stakeholders per specific ecosystem.
  6. Legislative and normative context: (1) NBaS in French and European laws; (2) large scale legislations; and (3) NBaS and laws per target ecosystem.
  7. Implementing a NBaS: (1) from design to adaptive implementation: bases and know-hows; and (2) ecosystem-specific knowledge.
  8. Tools and methods: (1) an inventory of updated global tools for studying NBS-NBaS; and (2) tools, softwares and models per target ecosystem.