The theme for the 2022 Nordic Council Environment Prize is nature-based solutions. With this theme, the adjudication committee wanted to draw attention to the fact that nature and nature management can offer versatile solutions to the biodiversity and climate crisis, but also ensure effective climate adaptation in urban environments while improving people’s health and well-being.
Different types of functional wetlands are versatile and useful nature-based solutions which can also be easily scaled up and down. The popularity of the wetlands is clearly visible among the nominees for this year’s environment prize. Nabben wetland in Mariehamn is a small-scale multifunctional wetland that has been tailored for a specific location in a small town.
The wetland increases the water turnover time as the surface water from residential and industrial areas passes through two sand filters, a sedimentation basin and a floodplain in the form of a fishing wetland. In addition to cleaning the passing water and increasing biodiversity in the area, this solution helps the city deal with the consequences of climate change. Nabben wetland also offers excellent recreational opportunities and educational study visits. The construction of the wetland is therefore a way to utilise nature’s ability to deliver varied ecosystem services.
Nabben wetland is a local example of a nature-based solution with many positive effects on plant and animal life as well as the water environment, while also promoting the social well-being of people. The adjudication committee considers that this relatively small project embodies the functionality and scalability of nature-based solutions and hereby presents the City of Mariehamn the 2022 Nordic Council Environment Prize for Nabben wetland.