Imagine walking through the forest on your favorite trail, but instead of hearing birds signing or the rustle of leaves, you hear aircraft, traffic, or even mobile phones? How would your experience of your nature time change? How would you feel? Sounds are an important part of how we appreciate nature, our communities and our homes. But sounds are more than just signals we humans respond to. Wildlife, fish and insects and respond to acoustic signals in our environment that cue them to migrate, reproduce, hunt/feed and rest. Some early research even shows plants responding to acoustic signals from water. The Nordic Soundscapes Research Network is a community of scholars dedicated to relevant ecological and social research to help us navigate our rapidly changing social and natural environments and to work to preserve the benefits of natural quietude and natural sounds for human wellbeing and biodiversity. Our network is an emergent group of scholars in the Nordic countries breaking ground in this diverse social and ecological research in sounds and the landscapes that support opportunities for experiencing natural quiet, immersion in the sounds of nature, and feeling a sense of connection through our sense of hearing.
Sound is an important environmental signal that contributes to our sense of place and the way humans and other species live and thrive. This weaving of sounds and perception of sounds within place is called the soundscape. Natural soundscapes are where individuals are able to perceive sounds uninhibited from (human) noise and have been shown to be vital components of biodiversity and sense of place in outdoor life (friluftsliv). However, development and noise pollution in Nordic natural areas threaten their existence and consequently contribute to deteriorated ecosystem functioning and benefits derived from outdoor recreation. People feel less connected to nature when noise is present (Wyles et al. 2019). Less connection to nature, in turn, undermines sustainable and pro-environmental behavior (Ednie et al. 2020). In this UN Decade of Restoration (2021 – 2031) NSRN will support its members development of relevant and action oriented work to restore natural soundscapes and in so doing reinvigorate individuals’ connection to nature and importantly, stewardship. The Nordic Soundscapes Research Network (NSRN) will mobilize scholars to address an important area of research connected to conservation and sustainability. NSRN will stimulate cross-disciplinary research and resource management actions that support awareness and the preservation of natural sounds for sustainable environments and local economies. Our mission is to provide relevant research important changes to rural and urban natures in order to develop management tools to preserve biodiversity and myriad cultural relationships. We represent both emergent and established scholars in ecological monitoring, sustainable tourism, visitor management and applying natural sounds conservation in national parks internationally.
MILUTARENA-Formidlings- og koordineringstiltak knyttet for miljø- og utviklingsforskning