Applications for funding 2022 – biodiversity and social sustainability

07.04.21 | Funding opportunities
Every year, the Nordic Working Group for Biodiversity (NBM) funds Nordic co-operation projects that help to stem the loss of biodiversity.


Opportunity category
Open calls
Fri, 04/06/2021 - 11:59 PM
Financial framework
DKK 3,500,000
Åland Islands
Faroe Islands

See Chapter 5 of the Programme for Nordic Co-operation on the Environment and Climate 2019–2024:

The NBM sets out annual priorities for applications. In 2022, funds will go to Nordic projects relating to biodiversity, the climate and social sustainability. Applications that fall within the scope of NBM remit but not these priorities may also be considered.

The priorities for 2022 are biodiversity and social sustainability

The NBM has adopted a two-pronged approach to 2022, prioritising projects that help conserve and halt the decline in biodiversity as well as ones that focus on social sustainability.


As per the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Co-operation Programme 2019-2024, the NBM will prioritise projects that have as their clear main purpose halting the decline in biodiversity, improving conditions for biodiversity and/or enhancing knowledge about threats to biodiversity in the Nordic Region, including climate change, fragmentation and degradation of habitats and the impact of invasive species on native species and ecosystems. The NBM would like to expand the knowledge base about the negative impact on biodiversity, including, for example, the challenges faced in all of the Nordic countries due to problems that transcend national borders, such as invasive species, disease and environmental crime. Projects are also welcome to focus on red-listed species or ones that face specific challenges to their migration patterns.

Projects can also look at transnational habitat types for which similar initiatives might improve the conditions for biodiversity. Particular priority will be given to projects that relate to the initiatives that will have the greatest holistic effect or have the greatest effect on species that are particularly vulnerable in one or more of the Nordic countries. The expected effects of measures to cope with biodiversity on the climate will also be included in the assessment of applications.  

Projects should culminate in either:

  • practical experience with established methods that can be shared by the Nordic countries, or
  • new knowledge about species, initiatives, habitats, management or stress factors for biodiversity in the Nordic Region, including geographic distribution.

Social sustainability:

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflect the three dimensions of sustainable development; environmental, social and economic sustainability. Contributions to one dimension should not be at the expense of the other two. We cannot achieve sustainable development without addressing and balancing all three dimensions.

To date, social sustainability has not been as prominent a theme as environmental and economic sustainability in NBM projects. To redress this situation, special attention will be paid to social sustainability based on the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Vision 2030.

Vision 2030 has three pillars. One of them is social sustainability. “A socially sustainable Region – together, we will promote an inclusive, equal and interconnected region with shared values, more cultural exchanges and welfare.” Projects that address social sustainability help make the links between social sustainability and the environment clear in a Nordic context, and in doing so, help us make progress toward achieving Vision 2030. In the co-operation programme 2019-2024, social sustainability is indirectly covered in Chapter 2.3 Sustainable cities, Chapter 5.1 Sustainable use of ecosystem services, and Chapter 5.2 Protect nature and preserve its diversity.

The social dimension of the concept of sustainability also includes cultural aspects. Initiatives that help clarify what social sustainability is and make the nature of the content clearer will help to raise awareness of this dimension and balance the three sustainability dimensions. Social sustainability covers several topics in the environmental sector, including the cultural environment. The potential of the cultural environment/cultural heritage for achieving social sustainability is mainly derived from the significance of heritage for identity, belonging, quality of life and health for all. Outdoor life can play a natural role in this, as well as (urban) nature, biodiversity and green infrastructure.

Social sustainability should also be examined in more detail, e.g. sustainable cities and communities and how they can help toward SDG 3 – Health and well-being. A closer working relationship on social sustainability between the NBM and the ad hoc group Sustainable Cities would also be useful.

In 2022, NBM will prioritise projects that incorporate outreach as a key element, for example, as a webinar, podcast, articles, video or the like.


Applications should be submitted to by Friday, 4 June 2021.

  • Attach a signed copy of the application in PDF format
  • A copy of the application in Word.

Only the application form may be submitted. By submitting an application, you consent to Umhvørvisstovan (The Environment Agency of the Faroe Islands) and the Nordic Council of Ministers processing the application and any personal data contained in the application electronically.

Who is eligible to apply?

Local, regional or national authorities, universities and colleges, research institutes, and other non-profit organisations are eligible to apply for funding. Although private companies may not be the main applicants and recipients of funding, they may, for example, be included as project participants, participate in the project group, or be a supplier to the project on behalf of the owner.

Which countries are eligible?

At least three Nordic countries must be represented in the project, or two Nordic countries and a third country. Additional countries may also be included.

Funding is available in the following countries: Denmark, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Åland.

What are the application criteria?

In processing applications, NBM will look in particular at whether the project:

  • is well organised
  • is well-rooted in national environmental and cultural heritage administrative bodies
  • communicates project activities and results in an active and preferably innovative manner
  • is related to the Nordic countries’ input in international processes.

One-year or long-term projects

NBM only grants funding for one year at a time.

Funding is available for many topics, but not all

Funding is not provided for research projects. Research projects must apply to the Nordic Council of Ministers' Department for Education, Research and the Labour Market or directly to NordForsk or the Nordic Innovation Centre.

Further information

For further information, please contact:

Please also read the funding guidelines relating to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ co-operation on the environment and climate.