About GRIP on LIFE
We work to combine modern forestry with consideration to the forest's valuable watercourses and wetlands. Our goal is to improve the environment and conditions for animals and plants living there, while we continue to use our natural resources in a sustainable way. The project runs from 2018 until 2025.
Watercourses and wetlands are important habitats for many animals and plants, but also valuable for us humans as we use them for outdoor recreation, relaxation and pleasure. Watercourses and wetlands also have other important functions, such as clean water production and regulation of water levels.
By contributing new knowledge and new methods, we help secure the future of streams, rivers, lake systems and wetlands across the country.
What we do in the project
We will demonstrate best practice and develop new methods to mitigate negative effects on important limnic environments. We will, for example, show how good environmental consideration in forest management can contribute to this.
We also develop methods to restore dry-laid lakes and wetlands, plug ditches and restore streams that have been altered due to timber floating. To show the methods in practice we create demonstration sites.
For the project to succeed, it is important that the cooperation between authorities, NGO’s, contractors, land owners and other stakeholders work as well as possible. We therefore try different ways to work together to become more efficient and to use our resources in the best way. For example, how we can make better use of funds, develop cooperation plans for measures at water and make a model for updating conservation plans for Natura 2000 sites more effectively. The knowledge we gather within the project will be disseminated to other environments and areas that are also in need of improvement.
The work in Grip on Life is divided into four sub-areas, called themes:
- Improving conservation status for Natura 2000 sites
- Building knowledge and capacity
- Better cooperation
- Applying new knowledge
Each theme is led by a thematic leader.
Grip on Life focuses primarily on approximately 25 catchments across the country, from Blekinge county in the south to Västerbotten county in the north. The catchments include Natura 2000 streams and wetlands in a forest dominated landscape. The project's long-term goal is that the environment in all types of Natura 2000 habitats should be improved and preserved for the future.
The project has been approved funding from the European Union environmental program LIFE IP and has a total budget of about SEK 170 million, of which EU finances 60 percent. The largest financial stakeholders among the project partners are the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management.
What does Grip on Life IP mean?
Grip stands for “Using functional water and wetland ecosystems and their services as a model for improving green infrastructure and implementing PAF in Sweden”.
PAF is the project’s guideline and a short form of Prioritized Action Framework for Natura 2000. It is a national action plan with initiatives and actions that will help to protect and preserve sensitive and valuable Natura 2000 sites. All EU countries have a PAF.
Natura 2000 is a network of protected areas throughout the EU. The areas are selected because they contain habitats or species that are particularly worthy of protection in a European perspective. Sweden has about 4000 Natura 2000 sites, many of which are small or very small and sensitive to changes in the environment (also in the surroundings).
EU environmental program LIFE finances projects that work to preserve and improve nature, environment and climate. IP stands for integrated projects; projects that work to introduce environmental and climate plans on a larger scale, for example regionally or nationally.