Votlendissjóður / The Icelandic Wetland Fund – Iceland
Votlendissjóður is nominated for the 2022 Nordic Council Environmen Prize.
It is estimated that up to two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions in Iceland are from drained wetlands. Furthermore, the extent of the drained trenches in the country is estimated to extend to about 34,000 kilometres. Consequently, it is essential to start reclaiming the wetlands as soon as possible. The Icelandic Wetland Fund was established in 2018 and assists landowners, farmers, municipalities and the Icelandic state in recovering wetlands not used for cultivation or forestry by financing restoration projects and, depending on the circumstances, providing training, personnel or equipment. The fund also offers the possibility of fostering wetlands.
Since 2018, the fund has restored close to 300 hectares of land. The fund ensures that the restoration is carried out professionally and in accordance with approved methods and under the supervision of specialists of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland. Icelandic wetlands provide important nesting sites for many species of bird, while volunteers monitor the positive effects of wetland restoration on birds, plants and other wildlife in selected areas.