COP27 is the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC. Global leaders, policy makers, researchers and civil society gather to combat the impacts of climate change.
The Nordic co-operation arrange a variety of side events, including on biodiversity and nature-based solutions (NBS).
During the panel debate in the Nordic pavilion, the role of NBS was highlighted as essential to combat the climate and biodiversity crisis simultaneously: “I’m not leaving here without mentioning nature-based solutions” said Norway’s climate and environment minister Espen Barth Eide.
Project leader of S-ITUATION, Leonard Sandin, participated via stream from Oslo. He talked about NBS in the Nordic context and presented key results from our project.
See the presentation in the video player. The slides are available below.
The Nordic ministers on climate and environment committed to promoting nature-based solutions (NBS).
Wednesday 2 November, researcher and project leader Leonard Sandin presented the S-ITUATION project during the Nordic climate and environment ministers’ meeting in Helsinki.
– This is very important and exciting work, which we have carried out together with partners from the other four Nordic countries in order to gain knowledge about how far we have come using NBS in the Nordics, says Sandin.
The aim of S-ITUATION is to describe the status of nature-based solutions in the Nordic region, including current opportunities and challenges. The results will be published in the report “Working with Nature-Based Solutions: Synthesis and mapping of status in the Nordics” later this month.
During the meeting, Norway’s Minister for Climate and Environment Espen Barth Eide stated that the Nordic program will “secure a knowledge base that can contribute to enabling authorities, businesses and civil society in the Nordics to build solid, nature-based solutions. This will help to realize the vision of the Nordic region as the most sustainable region in the world in 2030”.
Will promote NBS internationally
The Nordic ministers adopted a declaration in which they undertake to promote nature-based solutions during the negotiations on a new international nature agreement at COP15 in Montreal later this year.
The declaration encourages actors in the Nordic region to adopt nature-based solutions. It also supports further research on the topic.
Members of the S-ITUATION team met in Copenhagen to attend the launch of the new NetworkNature Nordic hub.
“We live in uncertain times, so working together is more important than ever”
– Jonas Wendel, general secretary of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The NetworkNature Nordic Hub was launched 13. october 2022. The event started with words of encouragement by the Nordic Council of Ministers, but also with a reminder of the recent publication of a report by WWF showing the decline in global species populations since 1970 by 69 %.
This underlines the need for urgent action on the climate and biodiversity crises.
Nordic pilot projects
One way of addressing these issues together, is through the implementation of nature-based solutions that provide benefits both for humans and nature.
Now the Nordic research community have better opportunities for networking and learning from each other through a new network.
How can we protect society from the extremities of a changing climate while also protecting nature and enhancing biodiversity? We discuss the opportunities and challenges that nature-based solutions pose in the Nordic countries in a new podcast!
S-ITUATION researchers Isabel Seifert-Dähnn, Johanna Alkan-Olsson and Helena Hanson join the conversation with editor of the podcast Nordics.info Nicola Witcombe.
Lyt til denne podcast for at finde ud af hvad et arvesprog er, og hvordan tilstanden af arvesprog i den nordiske region er i dag.Podcasten er skrevet af Eeva Sippola og Elizabeth Peterson, oplæst af Caroline Vogt Hansen og produceret af Nicola Witcombe. Du kan også lytte til den podcast på engelsk eller læse den på engelsk på nordics.info.Lydeffekter fra freesound.org, inklusive talking.wav af ondrosik pg Piano Solo 01 by BergsteinProd (med ændringer i lydstyrke og fading).
We have been participating in several events presenting some of the work from the S-ITUATION project the last few weeks.
NBS workshop in Iceland
Both S-ITUATION project leader Leonard Sandin and researcher Samaneh Sadat Nickayin participated in a workshop on Nature-based Solutions 5.-6. September in Iceland.
Leonard talked about lessons learned from Europe, while Samaneh gave a presentation on Nature-based Solutions for aquatic ecosystems.
The workshop was arranged by ON Power. Watch a recording or read more about the event on this Facebook page.
Debating NBS at water congress in Denmark
The second week of September, S-ITUATION researchers Ingvild Skumlien Furuseth and Isabel Seifert-Dähn also got to talk a lot about Nature-based Solutions at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Ingvild participated in a debate on Nature-based Solutions in the Nordic Pavillion.
On 1. September, the nominations for the Nordic Council Environment Prize 2022 were announced in an event at the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands.
This was accompanied by a seminar on Nature-based Solutions, where S-ITUATION project leader Leonard Sandin participated online.
“The loss of biodiversity and its harmful effects on human health and well-being are becoming increasingly clear. It’s obvious that there’s a growing need for solutions that have nature at their core”, said Sauli Rouhinen, chair of the adjudication committee for the Nordic Council Environment Prize.
Learn more about nature-based solutions in the new webinar series called “Naturbasert sone”. The series aims to present examples and new knowledge, share experiences and discussions on NBS and practical implementation.
In the first event on Thursday 24. March 2022, S-ITUATION project leader Leonard Sandin will talk about why NBS are beneficial and what value they can create for humans and nature. The presenters speak Norwegian, Swedish and Danish.
Naturbasert sone is arranged by S-ITUATION leader NIVA.
Learn more and sign up here (information in Norwegian).
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently published their latest assessment report. The report is about the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels. It also looks at the capacities and limits for adapting to climate change.
Nature and climate interdependent
As was already known, the world needs to take immediate action to avoid disastrous climate changes. But we need to do this while also protecting the nature and biodiversity.
As stated in the report, this work “recognizes the interdependence of climate, ecosystems and biodiversity, and human societies and integrates knowledge more strongly across the natural, ecological, social and economic sciences than earlier IPCC assessments”.
This is important, because as we know the climate and nature crises are interconnected, and both needs to be solved together. Nature-based solution is one example of how to integrate climate solutions with measures that protect nature.
The role of nature-based solutions
While the goal is to limit the climate change, we also need to adapt to some of the changes already happening around us, with increasing temperatures and extreme weather.
While not a solution to climate change on its own, nature-based solutions such as restoring rivers, recreating floodplains or using blue-green infrastructure to handle surface water in cities, may help both the ecosystems and humans to adapt.
There are already many initiatives on NBS, with more to come in all the Nordic countries. In S-ITUATION we continue to investigate their effectiveness and how to implement them.
The aim of the report was to inform policy and decision makers about what the nature-based solution (NBS) concept is, how it is used and interpreted in science and practice, as well as its relation to other ecosystem-based green concepts.
The report was commissioned by the Swedish Ministry of Trade and Industry and is written by researchers who are part of the S-ITUATION project group Helena Hanson, Lisa Lorentzi Wall, and Johanna Alkan Olsson at the Centre for Environmental and Climate Science, Lund University.
Majority of publications on urban solutions
The results show that scientific publications on NBS have increased a lot in recent years, with a main uptake among researchers focusing on the European context. Among the Nordic countries, most NBS research covers the Swedish context, followed by Denmark and Norway.
A majority of the included publications focus on the urban land use context, with less focus on the arable and forestry contexts. The NBS concept links to several different research areas, ecosystems and solutions.
The studied solutions vary from large-scale ecosystem related approaches (e.g., re-foresting riparian areas for disaster risk reduction) to small-scale NBS (e.g., biological infiltration beds for runoff water purification).
Getting more knowledge on implementation
Another part of the report was a stakeholder analysis of Swedish actors at a national, regional, and local scale working with NBS.
The result clearly shows that there is an ongoing uptake and implementation of the concept in Sweden, with a focus on the urban land-use context. This kind of stakeholder analysis will now be performed for the other Nordic countries, to give an idea of how the NBS concept is used and implemented on different levels in the Nordic countries.
The report provides a valuable basis for our further work on gathering and analysing knowledge about Nature-based Solutions in the Nordic countries.
15 November 2021 the first stakeholder workshop in S-ITUATION was arranged.
One of the aims was to learn more about the stakeholders’ concept of Nature-based Solutions. The image above shows the result of a poll among the participants.
S-ITUATION is relevant for many stakeholders, and the stakeholder consultation group is an important element in our work to map NBS across the Nordic countries.
By consulting relevant stakeholders, S-ITUATION can ensure high relevance of the literature review process and the synthesis report summarizing NbS activities in the Nordic countries.
The stakeholders in the project are people from different organizations across the Nordic countries, with knowledge and experience covering the full breadth of Nordic ecosystems and all types of solutions. Several activities are planned in the future to include their and other stakeholders knowledge and perspectives throughout the project.
The first meeting was held digitally on Teams 15. November 2021. The stakeholders were from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. Most worked in various national, regional or local public bodies.
The participants were divided into groups according to what kind of ecosystems they are most familiar with and most interested in. The image below shows the ecosystems covered.
The aims of the workshop were to:
Learn to what degree the concept of NbS is used across different disciplines and ecosystem types.
Introduce the IUCN global standard for NbS and discuss its applicability in Nordic Countries and in Nordic ecosystems.
Uncover implementation barriers and knowledge gaps for NbS.
Find out how the S-ITUATION project can extract useful and usable knowledge for the stakeholders’ daily work with NbS.
Give participants an opportunity to exchange experiences with other Nordic stakeholders working with NbS.
Need for more knowledge
The group discussions were good, and proceedings on the meeting will guide the work going forward.
It was especially interesting that several stakeholders highlighted the need for more knowledge and evidence on the costs, benefits and effectiveness of NbS to underpin arguments for why NbS should be preferred over traditional engineering solutions.
Thank you to all the stakeholders for valuable inputs in this workshop. We look forward to continuing working with many of you!