Nature-based solutions

11.06.21 | Project
Official co-operation between the Nordic countries is an effective tool to help achieve the ambition of making the Nordic Region the most sustainable region in the world by 2030. As part of this work, the Nordic Council of Ministers has allocated DKK 26 million to a four-year programme on nature-based solutions. The programme consists of five projects running from 2021 to 2024.

The purpose of the programme is to encourage the Nordic countries to work together and enhance their knowledge base on nature-based solutions, restoration, climate mitigation and blue/green infrastructure. This will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect and improve biodiversity.

Nature-based solutions are considered a key part of the work of work on the climate, the environment and biological diversity and have many benefits. Examples of nature-based solutions include the sustainable use of land and resources, protection and restoration of bogs and wetlands and the re-opening or re-meandering of streams and rivers.

Researchers believe that nature-based solutions could be the solution to a third of the greenhouse gas reduction needed to stop global warming exceeding the two degrees described in the Paris Convention. Nature-based solutions also help to reduce the loss of biological diversity and have been shown to have a positive impact on several social issues, for example, food and water safety and human well-being.

Solutions that are inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience. Such solutions bring more, and more diverse, nature and natural features and processes into cities, landscapes and seascapes, through locally adapted, resource-efficient and systemic interventions.”

The European Commission

Catalogue of Nordic nature-based solutions:

The Nordic countries work in different ways when it comes to nature-based solutions and combating climate change in general. However, they also need to be able to see the bigger picture in terms of what projects are underway and what the Nordic countries are doing to preserve and restore natural ecosystems and support sustainable consumption. Projects under the programme will range widely from a synthesis of methods and mechanisms, cost-benefit analyses and a catalogue of national and regional work on nature-based solutions. This will allow the Nordic countries to exchange information and knowledge and compare experiences to an even greater extent than before.

The five projects

  1. Synthesis of nature-based solutions in a Nordic perspective. Mapping of nature-based solutions at regional and national level in the Nordic countries.
  2. National case studies and tests. Carbon storage, biodiversity and climate adaptation in the most carbon-rich habitats, for example, blue forest and bogs.
  3. Policy development and guidance for national and regional administrations, resulting in a Nordic guide to how the countries can follow up and implement the work from the CBD with nature-based solutions, and possibly how it can be included in the LULUCF part of ​IPCC and the Paris Agreement.
  4. Guidance and best practice. Draw up guidance on best practice and methods for implementing nature-based solutions that will work in all of the Nordic countries. Use of national case studies for development and testing in order to find the best solutions, development of green infrastructure, methods and tools for the best possible outcomes for both the climate and biodiversity.
  5. NordGen: Conservation of genetic resources for climate adaptation. Conservation and documentation of Nordic genetic resources, focusing on wild relatives of cultivated plants.

About the programme

The Environment Agency of the Faroe Islands is coordinating the programme on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers. A steering group comprising members from several Nordic countries and chaired by Norway will be responsible for day-to-day activities. NordGen is responsible for the fifth project on Crop Wild Relatives, which is a nature-based solution for biodiversity, climate change and food security.