Joint ILO/WWF publication

NATURE HIRES: How Nature-based Solutions can power a green jobs recovery

Combining expertise on nature and employment, this joint World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - ILO publication maps out the societal challenges where nature-based solutions can be effective, how they support job creation and how they have been used, providing evidence and examples as to how they integrally support the achievement of the SDGs and a sustainable response to the COVID-19 crisis.

COVID-19 and the economic disruption and loss of employment it has brought with it, is further increasing global inequality, and threatening prosperity around the world. It is also contributing to the dual global crises of climate and nature loss, as efforts to address climate change are deprioritized, and as desperate communities lean more heavily on the natural systems on which they depend.

These natural systems play a vital role in supporting employment. Some 1.2 billion jobs in sectors such as farming, fisheries, forestry, and tourism are dependent on the effective management and sustainability of healthy ecosystems. Half of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is, to a greater or less degree, dependent on nature. Stressing or destroying vital ecosystems will have enormous economic as well as environmental and social costs.

Too often, nature and the economy are placed in opposition. But while this trade-off may seem real in the short term, it is also obvious that, over the long term, it is false; there will be no decent jobs on a dead planet.

Instead of a trade-off, the interdependence of economic well-being and nature can present an enormous opportunity. A range of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) exists that can help address the crises of nature and climate on the one hand whilst creating jobs and prosperity on the other.

As governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have an opportunity to design stimulus packages that integrate NbS, simultaneously supporting nature, creating employment and increasing resilience. This report offers examples of NbS that have been successfully deployed around the world that can provide inspiration and guidance for governments as they do so.

The ILO and WWF were able to collaborate on this publication and combine their respective expertise on nature and employment.