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Economic Analysis: Theory and Practice
 

The potential of a circular economy and "nature-based solutions" as a possibility to achieve sustainable development

Vol. 21, Iss. 4, APRIL 2022

Received: 28 March 2022

Received in revised form: 6 April 2022

Accepted: 14 April 2022

Available online: 28 April 2022

Subject Heading: INTEGRATED ECONOMIC-SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL ANALYSIS

JEL Classification: B52, E65, O44, P48

Pages: 616–642

https://doi.org/10.24891/ea.21.4.616

Bagrat A. ERZNKYAN Central Economics and Mathematics Institute, RAS (CEMI RAS), Moscow, Russian Federation
yerz@cemi.rssi.ru

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6065-9120

Karine A. FONTANA Central Economics and Mathematics Institute, RAS (CEMI RAS), Moscow, Russian Federation
fontana@mail.ru

ORCID id: not available

Subject. We investigate the potential for integration of ecosystem approaches to "nature-based solutions" and circular economy aimed at sustainable development.
Objectives. The focus is on implementation of principles of circular economy and "natural solutions" as important elements of the sustainable development plan.
Methods. We employ analytical and logical methods, theoretical and practical issues of sustainable development in the context of concepts of circular and natural economy.
Results. We address the evolution of the circular economy concept, emphasize that it cannot support sustainability, if social processes are ignored. The paper explores the intersection points of the circular and green economy. It shows that ecosystem approaches result in environmental, social, and economic benefits. The potential of achieving sustainability through the synergy of "nature-based solutions" and circular business models is demonstrated on the case of reusing urban wastewater.
Conclusions. The circular economy cannot be considered as a stage in the "green economy" development. It is important to use them together, when sustainable development strategies are designed. "Natural solutions" provide opportunities for interdisciplinary studies on development and implementation of nature-based solutions, their versatility creates a potential for trade-offs. Cities have a potential to implement sustainable development concepts through the synergy of "natural solutions" and circular business models. Integrated use of the potential of complementary concepts is required.

Keywords: circular economy, nature-based solutions, green economy, ecosystem approach, sustainable city

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