Norway: a biodiversity protection model

The UN recently highlighted the country's impetus in achieving the Aichi goals

Norway: a biodiversity protection model

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United Nations Environment division published an article written by Gudrun Schneider, Oyvind Andreassen, John Crump, and GRID-Arendal, a Norwegian foundation that works together with the UN, highlighting the work of the Norwegian Government in the biodiversity protection.

According to the text, the Scandinavian country is focusing in three important goals from the Aichi protocol: Achieving good ecological status in ecosystems; safeguarding threatened species and habitats; and maintaining a representative selection of Norwegian nature (the conservation of areas covering the whole range of habitats and ecosystems).

The experts explained that the Nordic Government will be able to achieve the main Aichi goals, which were drafted during the 2010 Conference in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, and stipulate a plan for Biodiversity protection for the 2011-2020 period.

The Aichi agreement is separated in 5 sets of goals: awareness, biodiversity sustainable use, improve the biodiversity status, enhance the biodiversity services, and participative planning.

The country's main goal is to "ensure the Norwegian's nature management regime is sustainable and that pressure from human use is controlled to allow ecosystems to maintain 'good ecological status”.

One of their methods was creating a committee to determine the ideal ecological status of the habitats. The institution studied the "normal" status of the habitats in a period where the human influence was minimal (1960-1990). After, the committee identified seven properties that characterize ecosystems in good ecological condition: primary production and distribution of biomass between trophic levels; diversity of functional groups; important species and biophysical structure; area estimates in relation to species survival; changes in species composition, and abiotic factors.

Balancing different interests

The Norwegians authorities explained that one of the main difficulties was "the lack of clear, agreed upon management objectives in most ecosystems". The article explained that in those examples, where other public interest weigh more heavily than the Ecological status "it is acceptable for parts of an ecosystem to have less than good status".

According to the text, "these interests might include different land-use objectives and industrial uses such as forestry, agriculture, housing, fisheries, mining, transport and communications". Once the management objectives for ecological status are delimited, the Government will use the policy’s instruments to maintain or improve the habitats.

The Norwegian Government assured that with this system, they will be more efficient in the Nature Management and will be able to achieve the Aichi goal number 15: By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks have been enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15% of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification.

The Climate and Environment Minister of Norway, Vidar Helgesen, assured that they "will ensure future generations' ability to create values based on well-functioning ecosystems". Meanwhile, Signe Nybo, from the Norwegian Institute Nature Research said to the local press that indicators "reveal changes in nature that we do not discover with naked eye”.


Latin American Post |  Santiago Gómez

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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