S-UMMATION: Practical knowledge about NBS in the Nordics

A project summarising the findings from nature-based solutions pilots in the Nordic countries.

The Nordic projects represent a diverse range of nature-based solutions (photos provided by KTH/Utö Initiative, Grasagarður Reykjavíkur, Renosyd and NIBIO). 

The S-UMMATION project will provide insights on how nature-based solutions (NBS) are implemented in the Nordic countries. Like S-ITUATION, it is part of the Nordic council of ministers’ programme on nature-based solutions.

Background

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are in short “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously benefiting people and nature”.

It means that we find solutions to problems in society, such as floods caused by climate change, that are based on nature’s own functions, for example by restoring a natural wetland.

Such solutions should benefit both biodiversity and human wellbeing, and are highlighted by the UN, EU and more as important ways of tackling climate change and biodiversity loss simultaneously.

What is S-UMMATION

S-UMMATION is a project that will summarize and share experiences, knowledge, barriers and advice from eight NBS pilot projects in the Nordic region. As part of the Nordic countries’ aim to become the most sustainable region in the world by 2030, the Nordic council of Ministers (NCM) have launched a programme on nature-based solutions. 

It finances both research and practical implementations of NBS pilot projects. The S-UMMATION project will build on the IUCN global standard on NBS and 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) and runs in 2022-23.

Aims

Through surveys, workshops and literature review, we will systematically gather information on the experiences and new knowledge from the NBS pilots funded by the NCM.

The knowledge will be summarised in a project catalogue and a report by S-UMMATION and published in November 2023. The final report will include a description of measures to track and evaluate the impact of NBS, including proposed indicators and ways to monitor the outcome of the NBS pilot projects.

We will also summarize the knowledge the pilot projects have contributed and what new questions they have raised. These findings will be key for advising the future implementation of NBS in the Nordics.

The pilot projects

Below is an overview of the eight different pilot projects that will be the study subjects in S-UMMATION, including links to more information.

Finland, Mätäsoja Stream: Stream and watershed restoration

The Finnish Wildlife Service organization Metsähallitus leads this work to restore the entire watershed area around the Mätäsoja Stream in Finland. Read more.

Sweden, Utö: Floating wetland system

Initiative Utö are in collaboration with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and alchemia-nova launching a pilot project with a floating system for wetlands to remove excess phosphorus from seawater. Read more.

Norway: Erosion protection

The Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy (NIBIO) will prevent erosion by strengthening slopes and edges with NBS and create a guide for BAT (Best Available Techniques). Read more.

Denmark, Holmehave: Multifunctional land distribution

Assens municipality, VandCenter Syd and Hedeselskabet are developing a comprehensive plan for multifunctional land distribution in the Holmehave area to establish afforestation, nature and wetlands. Read more.  

Denmark: Less waste with brush fences

Renosyd is engaging local schools in two municipalities to build 21 brush fences out of branches. This can reduce garden waste and create habitats for insects and small animals. Read more.

Iceland, Reykjavík: Crop wild relatives biodiversity

Grasagarður Reykjavíkur is an outdoor collection of around 3000 plant species. This project will provide a toolbox for genetic plant breeders working towards a sustainable and increasingly urbanized agriculture for local food production. Read more.

Åland: Multifunctional wetlands

Ålands Vatten collaborates with farmers in this project to improve four multifunctional wetlands for better water quality, sustainable food production, climate adaptation and increased biodiversity. Read more.

The Faroe Islands: Land-restoration

The Lendisbati restoration initiative aims to prevent erosion, protect biodiversity and restore wetlands for carbon storage. It is part of Tjóðsavnið (the Faroe Islands National Museum) and involves landowners, nature-restoration experts and highschool students. Read more.