Natural and Nature-based Flood Management:
A Green Guide

About the Flood Green Guide and Training Program

WWF, in partnership with the US Agency for International Development Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), developed the Natural and Nature-based Flood Management: A Green Guide, also called the Flood Green Guide, to support the use of natural and nature-based methods for flood risk management. The guide is also supported by a training program and resource library.

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The Flood Green Guide

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The Flood Green Guide provides practical guidance and tools to understand the local context related to flood risk, leading those responsible for flood management through analysis, method selection, and decision-making at multiple stages of a typical flood risk management project cycle. It is designed for those involved in flood management, including municipal governments, community groups, and nongovernmental organizations.

Please contact us if you are interested in Flood Green Guide training or have questions.

Download a copy of the Flood Green Guide in English, Spanish, or Sinhala.

Flood Management V2
Watershed Level Community Level Household Level Floodplain Level

Watershed Level

Community Level

Household Level

Floodplain Level

structural

The Flood Green Guide outlines structural and non-structural methods for flood management based on an integrated approach. Flooding has consequences at multiple levels, including national, regional, watershed, floodplain, community and household. In most instances, the guide recommends a combination of multiple flood risk management methods. It recommends to first apply non-structural methods, then soft structural methods, and -- only if needed -- hard structural methods as part of an integrated approach. The size of the circles reflects that prioritization.

Flood Green Guide Training

Workshop Training

The Flood Green Guide training curriculum covers a range of key topics, including flood risk analysis, climate assessments, objective setting, method selection, community engagement, and urban issues. The training methodology includes videos, presentations, individual and participatory group exercises, and scenario planning.

A Flood Green Guide Trainer's Guide is available, with activity duration, objective, relevant Flood Green Guide stage and chapter, and materials and resources for each subsection.

Flood Green Guide training workshops and research-related activities have taken place around the world, including in Bangladesh, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, and the United States.

Rickshaws in tidal floodwater, Chaktai, Chittagong.

Global average temperatures have risen by 1°C over the last century, and climate scientists believe that warming could be between 3-5 °C by the end of this century. Our oceans absorb around 90% of that heat. But warmer water expands, and this, along with water being released from melting polar ice, is causing global sea levels to rise.

Considering present warming trends, a 2013 World Bank paper  suggests that Bangladesh will be hit by increasing river floods, more intense tropical cyclones, very high temperatures, and rising sea-levels (a 27 cm sea level rise is projected by the 2040s). This could leave some areas completely submerged, as well as affecting power, food and health. 

Chittagong is the second-largest city in Bangladesh, densely populated with over 4 million people . It’s often regarded as the commercial capital of Bangladesh , with its port handling over 90% of the country's foreign trade . 

Quote from Jashim Salam, photographer: “In the past few years, climate change has begun to take a major toll on my home city of Chittagong.  
Tidal surges – water levels rising significantly above the predicted tide levels – are affecting the city as often as twice a day, resulting in frequent flooding of homes and businesses. Prior to this, the last tidal surge occurred in 1991, when a hurricane hit the coastal area.
Local people are growing increasingly concerned - we may have to move from our homes due to this excess of water.  The effects of climate change have brought a sudden vulnerability to the lives and livelihoods of people living in Chittagong and the coastal areas of Bangladesh.”
Jashim Salam / WWF-UK

Online Training

A short overview of the Natural and Nature-Based Flood Management Methods module is available on the WWF Adapt training portal.

WWF conducts virtual training that includes a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning sessions. For more information, read stories from trainings in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

To obtain a hard copy of the Flood Green Guide, or for more information on the Flood Green Guide training program, training, or resources, please email [email protected].

Aerial view of flooded forest during rainy season with floating plants, Rio Negro Forest Reserve, Amazonas, Brazil
Michel Roggo / WWF

Download the Flood Green Guide

Fill out the form below to receive download links to the full text of the Flood Green Guide in three languages: English, Spanish, and Sinhala.

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