ENSK-SIDA-DSC_3675On all levels of society, governmental and local level.


Participatory approaches

BGL – Farmers heal the land or „Bændur Græða Landið” a ‘cost-share’ program participated by 25% of Icelandic farmers. Assisting farmers to revegetate degraded land, to halt erosion, and to reclaim land.

Land Improvement Fund, “Landbótasjóður”, aims to move responsibility, initiative and execution of soil conservation projects to local authorities, to land owners, local government, communities and non-governmental organizations.

ENSK-SIDA-IMG_3956The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland provides consultation, funding and supervision of projects. Projects that conform to aims and focal points of long-term soil conservation strategy planning for 2003-2014 are given priority.

Volunteer associations – advice, consultation, initiation and participation in their work.

Restoration projects
Revegetation of areas under supervision of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland.

“Hekluskógar”- the Forests of Hekla – a 100 000 ha restoration of natural birch forests in the vicinity of ENSK-SIDA-IMG_1432the volcano Hekla in South Iceland. The project is funded by governmental and private funds.

Agriculture
Sustainable utilization of both common and private grazing land. Working with rural and urban authorities concerning grazing management and revegetation issues.
Quality management in sheep farming – the land use factor a partial cross-compliance, i.e. about a third of the support of a subsidy agreement is dependent on quality of land use.
Quality management in horse breeding – the land use factor. A voluntary action where horse breeders can take part in quality management for utilization of land.

Support for land improvement plans for farmers
„Nytjaland”- Icelandic Farmland Database – A collaboration project on landholding in Iceland. Size of properties, vegetation information uses to provide a basis for grazing potential. The project improves the database that certification of sustainable utilization must be based on.

Better Farms, “Betra Bú”, an evolving collaborative project on good farming practices and sustainable land use planning, combine the forces of soil conservation, forestry, extension and nature conservation in IMG_0622assisting land users to produce their own property plans.

Databases on land use
Soil erosion map of Iceland – Field based assessment of soil erosion and desertification in Iceland completed in 1997. The project was awarded the Nordic Council “Nature and Environmental Award” in 1998.

National assessment of carbon sequestration on revegetated land (NIRA) – for participation in “Revegetation” of article 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“Askur”- An online geographic information system (GIS/GPS) used to collect, store, analyze, manage and display location data on all projects at the
Soil Conservation Service.

Research and developmental work
Aims to strengthen the scientific background for sound decision-making, program development and policy-making by gathering knowledge on structure and protection of ecosystems and developing methods for land reclamation and revegetation.

Methods and species for reclamation, halting erosion and promoting ecosystem restoration.
ENSK-SIDA-croppad_IMG_5401Evaluation of the progress and results of revegetation work.
Seed production.
Ecosystem structure and plant succession and the promotion of natural regeneration.
Wind-erosion and long-term changes of vegetation, state of land and mitigation options.

Seed production plant – managing the seed production process: sowing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transport and export of seeds.

Streambank Erosion Evaluation, Prevention and Restoration – Preventing or reducing damage caused by flooding of rivers and streams by using flood controls.

ENSK-SIDA-img_2512Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-Raising

“Reading the land” – general build-up of knowledge and understanding to read the condition of the land to ensure sustainable land use and protection of vegetation/soil in the future.

Advisory services to individuals, NGO´s, media and the general public.

School participatory projects and educational material.

ENSK-SIDA-landgrsk_IMG_0165Development Cooperation
The United Nations University – Land Restoration Training programme (UNU-LRT) on restoration of degraded land and sustainable land management, assisting developing countries in capacity development. The programme is cooperation between the United Nations University, the Government of Iceland, the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, and the Agricultural University of Iceland. The training program provides students from developing countries, a six month training period in Iceland, learning about soil conservation, desertification, and sustainable development.