Developing long-term monitoring for nature-based solutions (NbS) is essential for assessing and understanding the sustained impact of interventions over time, developing the understanding and evidence needed to plan future projects. However, in practice, this can be challenging. Long-term monitoring requires ongoing commitment and buy-in to ensure that data collections processes are in place. Often, this is not possible due to lacking resources. Here, we share a quick guide on how to set-up long term monitoring in practice, providing a short overview of the key benefits of undertaking this work and the key principles to consider. We pay particular attention to involving citizens and decision-makers in the planning process to ensure their perspectives and needs are considered, as well as how flexibility and adaptability should be built into the monitoring plan to accommodate changing circumstances. It is important to define clear and measurable objectives that align with the overall goals of the project and establish a proportionate monitoring framework with well-defined indicators and data collection methods.
We focus particularly on the case study example of London, with viewpoints from the local project team and learning and evaluation experts on how to ensure long-term monitoring is practical, proportionate and prioritised.