Nature-based solutions in the Nordics

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are ways to tackle climate change while at the same time strengthening biodiversity and delivering ecosystem services to humans.

While there are many international reports on NBS, there is a need for an overview of NBS covering the breadth of Nordic ecosystems. The Nordic Council of Ministers has launched a research programme running from 2021-24, encouraging the Nordic countries to work together and enhance their knowledge base on nature-based solutions, restoration, climate mitigation and blue/green infrastructure. 

This is an important part of the Nordic countries’ ambition to become the most sustainable region in the world within 2030.

Nordic Council of Ministers programme on nature-based solutions

What are nature-based solutions?

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are ways to solve issues related to climate change or environmental deteriation that are supported and inspired by nature.

The Nordic NBS projects


S-ITUATION is the first of five projects in the Nordic Council of ministers’ four-year programme on nature-based solutions in the Nordics. The project aims to synthesize and present existing research on NBS relevant to the Nordic context, including relevant projects and experiences, policies, knowledge gaps and cost-benefit analyses. The S-ITUATION team is made up by researchers from NIVA, Lund University in Sweden, Aarhus University in Denmark, Luke – Natural Resources Institute Finland and Agricultural University of Iceland. Read more.


The S-UMMATION project will provide insights on how nature-based solutions (NBS) are implemented in the Nordic countries. The project will summarize and share experiences, knowledge, barriers and advice from eight NBS pilot projects in the Nordic region. S-UMMATION will build on the framework developed in S-ITUATION, which is the first research project under the Nordic NBS programme. S-UMMATION is conducted by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). Read more.


The A-DVICE project will provide a handbook with advice and examples for policy development to implement, mainstream and upscale nature-based solutions in the Nordics. This is the third of five projects financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ NBS programme, and will build on the findings from the previous projects. A-DVICE is led by NIVA and co-led by Danish consultancy Norion, with the Nordic project partners VTT (Finland), Ensucon AB (Sweden) and University of Iceland. Read more.


GuideNbs is the fourth project in the Nordic NBS programme, and will focus on guidance for implementation of nature-based solutions building on previous results. The project will produce an online handbook and best-practice toolbox for the practical implementation of NBS in the Nordics. The main objective is to make the information gained in the project operational and available to a wide range of stakeholders, including practitioners, local authorities, and the public. GuideNBS is led by Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, with Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Lund University, Aarhus University, Luke and Agricultural University of Iceland as Nordic partners. Read more.

Nature, people and the climate

Nature-based Solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.

(IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature)

Nature-based solutions are actions to protect, conserve, restore, sustainably use and manage natural or modified terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems which address social, economic and environmental challenges effectively and adaptively, while simultaneously providing human well-being, ecosystem services, resilience and biodiversity benefits.

The Fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5)


This is the website for the S-ITUATION project on NBS in the Nordics and the projects building on its results.

Read more about the S-ITUATION project

Financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers

Published by NIVA