Erosion Protection with Nature-based Solutions in Norway


The Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy will prevent erosion by strengthening slopes and edges with nature-based solutions (NbS). The aim is to improve local environmental conditions and increase water quality and biodiversity in streams and rivers.

In many creeks and streams, both large and small, erosion is a major problem. The problem arises as a result of various types of interventions in nature and is typically solved with stone and concrete - so-called grey solutions. But the grey solutions often have negative consequences on the local environmental conditions, water quality and biodiversity, and therefore NIBIO Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research will investigate how NbS can help prevent erosion at edges.

In Norway changes in land use in recent decades have led to increased erosion and reduced biodiversity. After 1950, agriculture became more intensive and during the 1980s the negative consequences of the changes became evident with increased erosion, pollution of rivers and lakes, disappearance of the cultural landscape heritage and loss of biodiversity.

The problems of increased erosion have been debated for many years, and in addition to the environmental consequences, erosions can also have fatal consequences for people. In 2020, there was a landslide in Gjerdrum municipality near the Norwegian capital. The landslide was caused by erosion in a nearby stream and claimed 10 lives.

The steering group for the Nordic Council of Ministers' programme Nature-based solutions in the Nordic region considers it important to do something to prevent erosion in the future and has therefore chosen to allocate 900,000 Danish kroner to NIBIO's pilot project with NbS for erosion protection.

With the project, NIBIO must gather knowledge, test the NbS and create a guide for BAT (Best Available Techniques) when it comes to erosion protection with a focus on biodiversity and ecology. In addition, the aim is, among other things, to investigate vegetation establishment and costs, to measure the effects on biodiversity and compare them with the traditional grey methods, as well as to describe the implementation process.

The project will run in the years 2022-2024.

Potential impacts/benefits: 

Prevent erosion

Improve local conditions

Increase water quality

Increase biodiversity

NbS benefits 
  • Reduce flood risk
  • Reduce run-off
  • Reduction of energy in the production of new buildings and building materials
  • Improve connectivity and functionality of green and blue infrastructures
  • Increase Biodiversity
  • Improve water quality

The project is funded with DKK 900,000 from the Nordic Council of Ministers programme Nature-based Solutions in the Nordic Region. 


Anja Celine Winger -

Sustainable Development Goals 
  • 15. Life On Land