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The challenges facing the management and governance of water, oceans and the environment are complex. Addressing the dynamic interactions between different actors, interests and ecosystems requires co-production of knowledge and solutions. It is imperative to include multiple public and private sector actors, and society at large, in research, policy and management processes to understand local, national, and international needs and build a robust knowledge base for decision making. 

Applying various social science approaches, NIVA’s Water and Society section contributes key knowledge to a range of environmental and societal challenges in Norway, and internationally. Our researchers are working on questions related to water, ocean and environmental governance, nature-based solutions, ecosystem services and natural capital, socio-ecological systems and system dynamics, marine spatial planning and coastal zone management, and climate adaptation. 

The section's researchers have expertise in environmental governance, environmental law, environmental and ecological economics, planning, political ecology, as well as system dynamics modelling and participatory approaches. 

The Water and Society section is distributed across the NIVA offices in Oslo, Grimstad, Tromsø, Bergen and Copenhagen.