Webinar: Climate Conversations: Nature-Based Solutions, NSF

Nature-based solutions such as restoring wetlands, planting trees in cities, and using cover crops can cost-effectively make communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change, as well as provide over a third of the mitigation needed to achieve the 2030 targets of the Paris Agreement. And while conservation groups; federal, state and local agencies; international organizations; and the private sector have begun integrating nature-based solutions into their work, they are not yet utilized to their full potential. Benji Jones (Vox) moderated a conversation between Todd Bridges (University of Georgia) and LaKesha Hart (Louisiana Office of Planning and Budget) about the role of nature-based solutions and the challenges and opportunities in leveraging these approaches to address the climate crisis.

Participant Bios

Todd Bridges is a Professor of Practice in resilient and sustainable systems in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia. Prior to joining UGA in 2023, he served for 17 years as the Senior Research Scientist (ST) for Environmental Science for the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he founded and led the Corps’ Engineering with Nature® Program. Dr. Bridges received a Distinguished Presidential Rank Award from President Biden in 2021 for exceptional leadership, accomplishments, and service.

LaKesha Hart serves as the State Planning Manager of the Louisiana Office of Planning and Budget within the Division of Administration. Hart is responsible for administering, directing and coordinating the State’s portfolio of planning and policy initiatives and for coordinating with officials of federal, state and local agencies to promote and manage joint programs and activities. Hart earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Benji Jones is a senior environmental reporter at Vox. He covers biodiversity loss and climate change and how those issues affect people and wildlife. Before joining Vox, Benji was a senior energy reporter at Insider (formerly Business Insider), where he covered the oil industry and the rise of clean tech. Benji was a wildlife researcher prior to becoming a journalist. He has a master’s degree in ecology and evolution from Stanford University, where he studied the decline of fauna in the tropics.

Watch the recording