SEI Publication

Author(s): Andersson, K.

Year: 2012

In: SEI Working Paper No. 2012-08 (English)

Type: Working paper



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Multifunctional wetlands and stakeholder engagement: Lessons from Sweden

This study, conducted within the EU-financed project Baltic COMPASS, seeks to draw lessons from Sweden’s wetland implementation and identify key enabling and disabling factors, especially in the governance system.

Wetlands construction and restoration has been adopted as an agri-environmental measure in some of the Baltic Sea Region countries to help make agriculture more environmentally sustainable. However, Sweden’s experience shows that despite great efforts, the country only achieved 60% of its target of adding 12,000 hectares of wetlands in the agricultural landscape between 2000 and 2010.

The study is based on a participatory analysis involving interviews with professionals from governmental agencies, civil society organizations and the private sector, carried out in January to June 2012. Of special interest is to what extent wetlands can generate multiple benefits.

This paper outlines the key enabling factors as well as barriers to progress in Sweden identified by the interviewees. It also suggests several factors for successful large-scale wetlands project implementation: 1) Involve key actors who will maintain a local presence and develop long-term relationships with farmers; 2) provide comprehensive support to farmers, including access to information and technical advice and competitive financial compensation; 3) implement a system that supports the development of large-scale projects with a water basin approach; and 4) promote wetlands’ multiple benefits, such as the environmental services they provide and their value as natural buffers, rather than focusing narrowly on nutrient retention.

Download the working paper (PDF, 1.9MB)

Read a policy brief summarizing the findings »

Note: This paper replaces an earlier draft that was circulated at World Water Week 2012.

About SEI Working Papers:
The SEI working paper series aims to expand and accelerate the availability of our research, stimulate discussion, and elicit feedback. SEI working papers are work in progress and typically contain preliminary research, analysis, findings, and recommendations.
Many SEI working papers are drafts that will be subsequently revised for a refereed journal or book. Other papers share timely and innovative knowledge that we consider valuable and policy-relevant, but which may not be intended for later publication.

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