Natural diversity

(Photo: Asbjørn Børset)

Nature must be managed so that naturally occurring plants and animals in Norway can be safeguarded in viable numbers. We must also look after the variation present in different habitats, landscapes and geology.

Everyone has a responsibility to promote diversity in nature

Any intervention in natural areas can pose a threat to diversity. We must therefore always consider the consequences of interventions such as large roads or new residential areas.

The two key acts which address issues of natural diversity are the Nature Diversity Act and the Planning and Building Act. The Nature Diversity Act instructs municipalities to consider implementing measures when nature is at risk.

The County Governor helps to ensure that natural habitats and natural resources are safeguarded –among other things by checking that municipalities act in accordance with the Nature Diversity Act – and ensure that

knowledge of the environment forms the basis of municipal decisions.

Threatened species and habitat types

The County Governor and municipalities map out the areas which are the most important for natural diversity. The Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre develops national summaries known as “red lists” of species and habitat types that are threatened by extinction. There are approximately 2,000 threatened species in Norway. The government has singled out some of the threatened species and habitat types as “priority species” and “selected habitat types” respectively. These are granted special protection in the Nature Diversity Act’s regulations. The County Governors are responsible for establishing the academic grounds for new action plans for some of the priority species and selected habitat types, and for implementing measures once these plans have been adopted. In many cases, these measures are implemented in co-operation with landowners, municipalities and associations.

Non-native species

Non-native species are plants and animals that are not indigenous to our natural environment. Increased travel, overseas trade and a milder climate are some of the reasons why we are finding new species in Norway.

It is important that non-native species do not harm our ecosystems. The County Governors participate in efforts to combat non-native species, by clearing non-native plants from protected areas and informing garden owners about the best plants to choose, among other things. The County Governor also has responsibilities linked to the mapping and monitoring of non-native species. 

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