On Tuesday 16 May, 14h-18h, the Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development (IMDO) gladly invites you on its thematic research day on financing, protecting and valuing nature.

What exactly are "Nature-Based solutions" and how did they so recently become in vogue as strategies to address climate and ecological breakdown? Could Nature-Based solutions be the way forward? If so, how can they help our cities, agriculture, water systems and natural areas become climate-proof? How can they address the economic and political drivers of ecological loss and damage? What are the dangers, challenges and opportunities of Nature-Based solutions?

IMDO puts research in the spotlight and invites academics and policymakers to jointly look ahead.


  • 14h00: Welcome
  • 14h10: Key note by Cecil Konijnendijk (honorary professor, University of British Colombia): “Nature based solutions: towards a Forest City” 
  • 15h00: Research presentations and Q&A on ‘financing, protecting and valuing nature’
    • Nature Smart Cities: A business model for greener cities (Wito Van Oijstaeijen)
    • Innofins: financing blue green measures (dr. Sylvie Van Damme)
    • ePEStemology: Assessing the power asymmetries and value frameworks underpinning payments for ecosystem services (PES) (prof. dr. Gert Van Hecken)
  • 15h40: Pitches poster presentations
  • 16h00: High level panel on governance and implementation of nature based solutions with:
    • Moderator: dr. Vincent Bellinkx (UAntwerp)
    • Bernard De Potter (Administrator-General Flanders Environment Agency – VMM)
    • Cathy Berx (Governor Province of Antwerp)
    • Ignace Schops (Chair BBL Flemish umbrella organization for environmental NGO’s and director National Park Hoge Kempen)
    • Tom Coppens (Professor urban development and vice-dean faculty of design sciences, UAntwerp).
  • 16h45: Formal closure
  • 17h00: Reception


Location: City Campus, Klooster van de Grauwzusters, Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerp

Time: Tuesday May 16th 2023, 14h-18h