FEMA Policy Report

Advancing nature-based solutions in hazard mitigation

Radbridge worked with The Nature Conservancy in California to develop 14 policy recommendations for expanding the role of nature-based solutions in FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs.

FEMA increasingly recognizes and emphasizes the role of nature-based solutions (NBS) for building community resilience to hazards like flood, wildfire, and drought, and the agency has made remarkable progress on policies and resources to support NBS in a relatively short period. However, anecdotally it remains challenging for most subapplicants to successfully incorporate NBS into hazard mitigation subapplications. More can be done to reduce barriers, provide technical resources for states and communities, and generally help ensure that NBS projects exist on a level playing field with traditional solutions.

The purpose of this report is to discuss broad areas of opportunity and specific recommendations that could further facilitate – or reduce barriers to – the inclusion of NBS within FEMA hazard mitigation subapplications and projects. While the recommendations are primarily aimed at expanding FEMA’s investments in NBS, it is expected that many of the ideas, if pursued, could smooth processes and improve outcomes for a range of other hazard mitigation investments that FEMA supports, not just those that involve NBS.