Norwegian natural and semi-natural areas are important for biodiversity, carbon sequestration/storage and a many other valuable ecosystem goods and services (EG&S) - some with a market price and some without. Many sectors of society request land use changes increasing the pressure on natural areas and causing a sharpening of trade-offs between considerations of biodiversity, climate and the production of other EG&S. There is therefore need for improved knowledge on how to weigh different considerations and arrive at solutions that benefit society as a whole. The LandValUse-project contributes to improve this knowledge. The project crosses sectors, industries and disciplines and connects social sciences (economics, sociology) with natural sciences (climatology, biology, landscape ecology, GIS), and focuses thematically on issues related to climate and biodiversity for land-based wind power, forestry and recreational cabin construction. The project uses available research and data on impacts of land use on biodiversity, net greenhouse gas emissions and several EG&S to develop indicators and scenarios for changes. The project will perform innovative studies of methods and applications to evaluate and value the welfare effects of changes in the supply of important EG&S because of land use changes. The project uses map-based tools and cost-benefit analysis to analyse compromises and synergies between land uses; and results from studies of acceptance of potential political solutions in public and private sectors, to form the basis for recommending instruments that will stimulate innovative, scalable, and readily implemented land-use solutions. The project is carried out by Statistics Norway (project manager), the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Menon Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics in collaboration with public, private and voluntary organisations, and a scientific advisory committee.
The project formally commenced 1 May 2021. Both a digital start-up meeting for project collaborators and a digital start-up meeting for the project partners from the Norwegian research institutions were held digitally on 9 September 2021. Immediately before the start-up meeting, project collaborators were also invited to a digital research seminar (for the Valuehchange project financed by The Research Council of Norway). Several of the project collaborators participated and the feedback was quite good. A digital meeting with the project's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) was held on 22 November 2021. Here, the project was presented and plans for future collaboration were discussed. A website for the project will be established December 2021. The post-doctoral position on the project has been filled by Anders Dugstad from 1. September 2021.
Natural and seminatural areas in Norway provide biodiversity and carbon sequestration, and a range of other valuable market and non-market ecosystem goods and services (EG&S). However, trade-offs between biodiversity, climate and other EG&S concerns have become more pronounced due to increasing competition between land uses, within and across sectors. Therefore, enhanced knowledge for weighing different consideration and finding solutions that can deliver better societal outcomes is urgently needed. This project aims to address this knowledge gap. We propose a broad, cross sectoral and interdisciplinary project, coupling social science (economics and sociology) with natural sciences (climatology, biology, landscape ecology, GIS). Thematically we focus on climate and biodiversity concerns in land-based wind power, forestry, and recreational cabin development. We will utilise available research and data on impacts of land use on biodiversity and net greenhouse gas emissions to derive indicators and scenarios for change in these and a broader set of EG&S. This will form the basis for an ambitious and innovative investigation into methods and applications to reliably assess and value welfare impacts of changes in key EG&S from land use. Results will be integrated and trade-offs and synergies analysed by use of map-based tools and cost-benefit analysis. This analysis in combination with research on acceptability of potential policy solutions among the public and the private sector, will form the basis for recommending policy instruments that will stimulate innovative land use solutions that are scalable and may be implemented rapidly. Hence, the project addresses all three priority areas of the call. Statistics Norway, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Menon will carry out the project in close cooperation with key collaborators from government, private and NGO sectors, with guidance from a scientific advisory board.