Case Study:   NORWAY

Summary POLICYMIX case Norway

The Norwegian case analyses was geographically located in South- Central Norway, where the richest forest areas currently falling short on biodiversity conservation objectives, are located (see map below). The coarse grain analysis first studied the current biodiversity status in major forest types, biodiversity objectives and conservation goals, and pointed out gaps between ambition and current practice and trends. Further, the case reviewed in particular the voluntary forest conservation program, a PES-like instrument currently the main vehicle for forest conservation in Norway, in combination with direct regulatory and other instruments affecting biodiversity in forests. Potential new instruments briefly reviewed included subsidy reform, ecological fiscal transfers, procurement auctions and biodiversity offsets. Based on this, the fine grain analysis focused on two closely related themes: (1) Spatial analysis of current policy instruments, and (2) Forest owner and public preferences for further (voluntary) forest conservation. The first theme analyses closely how different instruments interact and overlap in the landscape (“Policyscape”), and how to locate areas with both low opportunity costs and relatively high biodiversity values.  These would be areas giving the most biodiversity for the buck. The second theme analyses what compensation levels, and other incentives, are required to enroll sufficient forest areas into the voluntary forest conservation program to achieve conservation objectives. Further, it discusses which level of conservation would be socially efficient given costs and benefits. The case provides important findings for improving current and future conservation policies in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, equity and wider legitimacy.  

Figure 1: Study area, forest cover and protected area network in South- Central Norway

Note: “Conservation areas” are the total areas, while “forest under conservation” is the part that is forest.

  • Abebe, S. et al. (2011) A review of the cost-effectiveness and performance of selected Verifiable Emission Reduction (VER) carbon offsets. Joint Technical Brief POLIYCMIX and FUNCiTREE No. 1
  • Barton, D. N. et al. (2012)Assessment of existing and proposed policy instruments for biodiversity conservation in Norway. Report 1/2012
  • Barton, D.N. et al. (2013) Policyscape—A Spatially Explicit Evaluation of Voluntary Conservation in a Policy Mix for Biodiversity Conservation in Norway. Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal, 26:10, 1185-1201
  • Bunikyte, R., G. M. Rusch, and B. J. Graae. 2012. A time-line analysis of the public biodiversity conservation mix: Changes in conservation gains in the county of Sør-Trøndelag.
  • Lindhjem, H ., K. Grimsrud, S. Navrud and S. O. Kolle (forthcoming) "The Social Benefits and Costs of Preserving Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services".
  • Mitani, Y. and H. Lindhjem (2014) "Forest owners' participation in voluntary biodiversity conservation in Norway: What does it take to forego forestry for eternity?"... Resubmitted and under review, Revised April 2014.
  • Santos, R., May, P., Barton, D.N., and Ring, I. (eds.) 2014. Comparative assessment of policy mixes across case studies - common design factors and transferability of assessment results. Report 1/2014.
  • Schröter et al. (2014) Accounting for capacity and flow of ecosystem services: A conceptual model and a case study for Telemark, Norway. Ecological Indicators 36, 539-551.
  • Schröter et al. (2015) Ecosystem Services and Opportunity Costs Shift Spatial Priorities for Conserving Forest Biodiversity. PLOS ONE November 13, 2014
  • Schröter et al.(2014) Lessons learned for spatial modelling of ecosystem services in support of ecosystem accounting. Ecosystem Services. Available online 1 August 2014.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson et al. (2015) Spatial Overlap between Environmental Policy Instruments and Areas of High Conservation Value in Forest

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