The impacts of climate change are already being felt: sea levels are rising, threatening island nations and coastal areas, storms are becoming more violent bringing floods and landslides, and droughts are intensifying. While richer nations can try to ‘buy’ protection in the form of engineered solutions, people in developing countries who are bearing the brunt of the impacts need a proven, accessible and affordable option. One such option already exists—conserving and managing nature. Healthy mangroves, forests and wetlands can form physical barriers against extreme weather and help to regulate floods. Radhika Murti of IUCN’s Ecosystem Management Programme describes how people are already using nature to shield themselves from the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.