International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN)
The global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it


Nature is a brilliant engineer. Adopting solutions found in nature can help us live in harmony with our environment, while addressing many of the challenges we face as societies.

That’s why NetworkNature is championing EU-funded projects developing nature-based solutions. They called on us to help them give visibility to these important initiatives.



In total, there were 44 projects to highlight. All of them are interconnected: they contribute together to different ecosystems and jointly help address societal challenges.
We needed to visualise them in a way that highlighted these connections while showing how nature underpins and inspires each activity.



A landscape. To give an immediate sense of the synergies between these nature-based solutions, the Cartoonbase team created a fresco putting all of them on a hand-drawn map.

The resulting landscape shows how the individual elements intersect with each other. At the same time, each element can be isolated to illustrate specific themes: ecosystems such as croplands or forests, or human needs such as health and well-being.

A human touch. The visual approach reflects the key added value of NetworkNature: better connecting people and nature. Our illustrator’s hand-drawn illustrations bring this idea to life.

The fresco depicts a joyful, colourful micro-universe, as diverse (and chaotic!) as the world we live in, where different uses and needs coexist, and multiple species can thrive. 

Multiple details prompt us to rethink the idea of shared spaces: for instance, participatory governance is pictured showing people of diverse ages and backgrounds, instead of the decision-makers in suits we tend to associate with such terms.




The common visual brought different actors of nature-based solutions closer together: by mapping out the connections and synergies between different projects, ecosystems and activities, it fostered new collaborations that make a difference on the ground

The fresco turned out to be the perfect match for virtually any communication opportunity on the topic.


Since it represents literally all key topics around nature-based solutions and is highly flexible, NetworkNature has been able to adapt it to a number of formats: so far, our drawings have featured in postcards, brochures, presentations, as backdrops and as visual signposts for events. 

As new projects and priorities are developed, we are adding more scenarios to the fresco – expanding our little landscape to new horizons!  



The Cartoonbase team showed genuine interest in this project from the beginning, and they delivered exceptionally great work that we used not only for the materials we originally planned—the NN visualization—but also for different NetworkNature outcomes, such as factsheets, briefs, presentations, concept notes, and publications. After agreeing on the visual style and concept of each illustration, Cartoonbase demonstrated an unusual capacity to respond to our needs and expectations.
The first publication triggered a series of emails from different projects and individuals working on NbS, asking for the possibility to use it in their own projects, as they truly matched their own view on what NbS can achieve. Therefore, we continued using them across the project, always with great success. These reactions led to the decision of enlarging and making systematic use of these illustrations across NNPlus, the second part of the project.

Network Nature