NIVA contributes with a scientific basis for public management of watersheds and coastal areas. This ensures the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity.
The UN's Convention on Biological Diversity gives provisions for the administration of natural resources, and this is reflected in NIVA's professional activities. The Convention stresses that resources must be utilised in ways that protect biodiversity long-term. This includes ecosystems, species and genetic variations within species. It is generally undisputed that species are now disappearing as much as 1000 times faster than the natural norm for such extinctions in the past 100 million years.
Knowledge about biological diversity is an essential tool for monitoring environmental conditions. For instance, in keeping with the EU Water Framework Directive, Norway is obliged to report on the health of the environment based on biological conditions.
NIVA's researchers have extensive knowledge about species within most groups of aquatic organisms. We have performed nationwide mapping and biodiversity monitoring for several decades, and have long time-series of measurements of biological data and environmental states.
NIVA activities include:
- classifying environmental conditions
- developing and testing classification systems and biological indicators
- creating and examining models of the prevalence of marine nature types and key species
- developing analysis procedures and fieldwork methods for mapping biodiversity
- investigating and monitoring effects of climate change on biodiversity
- evaluating the consequences of pollutant discharges on biodiversity
- developing methods in molecular biology for identifying species and conducting more cost-efficient monitoring
- managing a large culture collection of algae
NIVA makes action plans for vulnerable nature types to protect particular species and populations. We also make remedial plans for rehabilitating polluted and modified aquatic environments, as well as impact analyses of interventions requiring concessions.
We participate in international monitoring programmes and supply expertise and data relevant to international agreements, conventions, and directives.
Unn Hilde Refseth, research manager, Biodiversity in freshwater environments
Mats Walday, research manager, Biodiversity in marine environments
Karl Jan Aanes, research manager, Integrated water resources management