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On International Forest Day and World Water Day, two MUrCS students Sawn Yee Tun Lwin and Ankur Negi had the opportunity to participate in the NBS EduWORLD Hackathon: Unleashing Nature-Based Solutions for climate and biodiversity. The 2-day virtual hackathon held on 21st and 22nd March, 2024 was organized in a gamified, interactive online workspace by NBS EduWORLD, ICLEI Europe, and Natural Solutions. The team comprising Swan, Ankur and a third participant won the hackathon for their case study! They will now be travelling to Brussels to showcase their work later this year at the NetworkNature Annual Event to be held on 25th of September, 2024.

Their challenge was to develop an NBS solution for a real-world environmental case study set in the City of Belgrade, Serbia. They decided to tackle the issue of preserving the naturally valuable wetland areas and its vibrant biodiversity from urbanization and land-use conversion and/or illegal usurpation. The proposed approach was a gentle one – like urban acupuncture, the team identified strategically targeted spatial planning interventions and policies to enhance nature-based social and economic value while protecting the natural area as a whole.

It was a terrific experience with informative sessions and fun interactions with experts from all over Europe.