The Norwegian Government has granted approximately 327 million Norwegian kroner towards blue forests projects in 25 countries around the world since 2015

In celebration of Earth day, the Norwegian Blue Forest Network (NBFN) has launched a landscape mapping of Norwegian blue forest policy and projects.

Blue forests are coastal ecosystems such as kelp forests, seagrass meadows, salt marshes and mangrove forests. Blue forests are nature-based solution to the climate and environmental crisis. They store more carbon per hectare than “green”, terrestrial forests. They also bury nearly 70% of the carbon sequestered in the oceans, despite occupying less than 0.5% of the ocean surface area. Blue forests in Nordic countries alone hold an estimated 33 million tonne CO2. These ecosystems are also essential for biodiversity and the fishing industry, and are an environmentally friendly source of food, fertiliser and medicine.

The importance of these ecosystems was recognized by Sveinung Rotevatn, Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, who recently presented at a virtual global summit on the sea and climate with U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry and leaders from across the globe. Minister Rotevatn stated “we urgently need sustainable ocean policies to preserve the ocean as the life source of our planet, to nourish human well-being and to build sustainable economies… On the domestic arena Norway gives high priority to ocean protection, sustainable ocean management as well as ocean-based climate solutions… We need to unite forces to increase the extent of critical ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrasses, salt marshes, kelp beds, sand dunes, reefs and deep ocean ecosystems. This will benefit climate mitigation and resilience, while providing multiple benefits for livelihoods and food security.”

Within this context and to support the Norwegian government scaling up its strategy for blue forests, NBFN carried out a landscape mapping exercise to identify relevant blue forest projects and to gain an understanding of the potential opportunities and perceptions regarding blue forests policy in Norway and abroad.

Highlights from the report include:

  • The Norwegian Government has granted approximately 327 million Norwegian kroner towards blue forests projects in 25 countries around the world since 2015
  • 7% of the blue forests-related projects supported by Norway are domestic, while 19.3% are international
  • With abundant kelp forests, scientific expertise, and growing interest in kelp and macroalgae, Norway is in a unique position to lead international efforts to develop a framework for the sustainable management of kelp and macroalgae cultivation

 

The report is available here

Minister Sveinung Rotevatn’s statement at the virtual global summit on the sea and climate is available here.

About the Norwegian Blue Forest Network: NBFN was established by GRID-Arendal, the Institute of Marine Research and NIVA in 2014 to provide reliable and up to date knowledge on Norwegian blue forests.

For questions, please contact the NBFN project leader Cecilie Wathne at cecilie.wathne@hi.no