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Norwegian fjord

Environmental governance

Integrated, ecosystem-based environmental management requires knowledge from and cooperation between a wide range of experts. 

Nature, both on land and at sea, is being affected by climate change and other global challenges. There are complex links between the many ecosystems. If something happens in one environment, it can affect another. In the search for knowledge and solutions, we must take this connection into account. 

The concept of ecosystem-based management emerged in the 1980s, and was a counterweight to fragmented, specialised and sector-based management. The ecosystem-based model is charaterised by a holistic approach, where the main goal is to preserve the structure and function of ecosystems. 

Water management, which is structured in accordance with the EU Water Framework Directive, and marine management, are based on an ecosystem-based model. 

The recipe is to develop new arenas for cross-sectoral coordination, environmental quality requirements based on legislation and closer interaction across administrative levels and policy areas. 

To succeed, it is also essential to break down the boundaries and conduct research across disciplines. An example of such an approach is the research program C2C (link). The aim is to tackle challenges related to climate change and climate change adaptation, so that integrated environmental management in the High North is achieved. NIVA and NINA (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research) jointly lead the programme. NIVA also heads the European Theme Centre for Biodiversity and Ecosystems – ETC-BE. 

NIVA can contribute with this 

NIVA has expertise in how people, culture, environment and nature affect each other, and which values, perspectives and knowledge are reflected in environmental policy, regulation and management. Knowledge of these relationships is important for integrated water and environmental management. 

We have employees at NIVA with professional backgrounds from chemistry, biology, limnology, geology, hydrology, environmental technology, ecotoxicology, oceanography, geography, social sciences, resource management and environmental economics. 

Why does NIVA work with integrated environmental management? 

Environmental problems are complex and require holistic solutions. The core of NIVA's activities is ecosystem-based and knowledge-based management of oceans and waterways. We develop knowledge from the natural and social sciences as a basis for policy development and important decisions in society. 

Our broad research expertise and long data series from environmental monitoring are important for Norwegian trade and industry, and for public administration at municipal, regional and national levels. 

Contact us if you want to know more about how we work in this area. 

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