Kristianstads Vattenrike – Sweden

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Kristianstads Vattenrike Biosphere
Sweden’s oldest Unesco biosphere reserve still in existence.

Kristianstads Vattenrike is nominated for the 2022 Nordic Council Environment Prize.

In the 1970s, the wetlands along the river Helge å in Kristianstad were considered completely worthless and became the city’s landfill. Today, the importance of wetlands in protecting Kristianstad against flooding, reducing nutrient leaching to the Baltic Sea, and preserving biodiversity are all better understood. The city’s wetlands has been something of a “rags-to-riches” story.

Vattenrike encompasses nearly all of the municipality of Kristianstad and a variety of different nature types. Here, work with nature-based solutions and wetland ecosystem services has long been central to reducing the problems of flooding, drought, and eutrophication in the sea. Vattenrike has worked in close collaboration with researchers to create new wetlands in the agricultural landscape and raise awareness of the ecosystem services that wetlands provide in order to increase knowledge and understanding of nature-based solutions.

Work with Kristianstads Vattenrike is pursued by Biosfärkontoret and the Naturum Vattenriket visitor centre. The principal is the municipality of Kristianstad.