Protection and care of nature in a changed climate

The County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland is working to climate adapt protection and care of natural areas. A template with proposals on climate-adapted measures in the care of nature reserves was developed. The county’s salt wet meadows have been analysed in relation to the rising sea level and the need to enable relocation inland. The County Administrative Board also provides information on invasive species and holds courses on how trees worthy of protection can limit climate impact.

Green infrastructure in protected areas

Within the project “Protected nature in a changed climate”, the protected natural areas’ geographic distribution was analysed. Proposed measures were brought up to achieve a more cohesive system of various types of nature. A functioning green infrastructure makes it possible for various species groups to be able to move in the landscape with a changed climate.

Threatened wet meadows

The wet meadows along the Bohuslän coast are a biologically very important environment with threatened plants and animals. An analysis showed that an increase in the sea level of 1 metre will lead to 85% of the salt wet meadows ending up under water. The wet meadows can move inland, but this requires active landscape planning in good collaboration.

Havsstrandäng
Marine wet meadow in the Trälebergskile nature reserve, Lysekil Municipality. Foto Camilla Finsberg, Länsstyrelsen

Climate adaptation of nature reserve management plans

Every nature reserve in the county has management plans with prioritised measures. In a climate that is changing, the management measures need to be revised. The County Administrative Board has developed a model for climate adapted management plans. Fifteen conceivable climate change problems were identified with proposed measures. A check list is now a part of the templates for management plans. It is used both in the preparation of new and in the revision of old management plans.

How the project was implemented

The project was under way from 2012 to 2014 and was financed through the County Administrative Board’s budget for climate adaptation. The total cost for the project amounted to SEK 1.2 million.

Continued work

The County Administrative Board holds courses on the care and management of trees, which should increase insight into how trees can limit climate impact and at the same time strengthen biological diversity.

Several invasive species are increasing in their spread as a result of a warmer and wetter climate. The County Administrative Board provides information about dispersion capacity and how they can be combated.

More examples of climate adaptation

This is one of many examples of climate adaptation. There are more in the collection of ideas being built up by the Swedish National Knowledge Centre for Climate Change Adaptation at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). The collection of examples has the aim of sharing experiences and providing ideas to everyone who works with climate adaptation. Examples describe concrete measures and challenges in several subject areas. They show how different actors have worked to adapt their activities to the climate changes that are already being noticed today and those that we cannot prevent in the future.