Broad partnership kicks off Danish coastal protection project

Published 01:32 on November 30, 2022  /  Last updated at 00:33 on December 2, 2022  /  Biodiversity  /  No Comments

A coalition of municipalities, universities, government agencies, and private companies are launching a comprehensive coastal protection project in Denmark to help sequester carbon emissions and improve biodiversity.

A coalition of municipalities, universities, government agencies, and private companies are launching a comprehensive coastal protection project in Denmark to help sequester carbon emissions and improve biodiversity.

The DKK100 million ($14 mln) Coastal Life project will over the next six years seek to restore coastal areas, beach meadows, and shallow fjord areas in Denmark’s North Jutland, headed up by the Limfjord Council, the involved parties announced on Wednesday.

Coastal Life will focus on the restoration of beach meadows, eelgrass meadows, stone reefs, geogenic reefs, islands, and inlets.

“The project provides an excellent opportunity to restore a patchwork of vital coastal habitats and document the impact on biodiversity and carbon retention,” said Dorte Krause-Jensen, a professor at the University of Aarhus, one of four universities involved in Coastal Life.

The EU is funding 60% of the project costs, with the rest covered by the participants, which include renewable energy firm Orsted, Aage V. Jensen Naturfond, the Danish Coastal Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Aquatic Resources, and six municipalities.

For the time being the project will not seek to make use of any market-based mechanisms to obtain extra funds, though that might change over time depending on government policy developments.

“It is our aim to develop methods to quantify the CO2 gain of the project and get the method for the climate impact assessment approved under official international standards,” Torben Bramming Joergensen, the project coordinator, told Carbon Pulse.

“Regarding carbon or biodiversity credits there are no current plans of using such credits, but we are aware of the subject and will follow the development of national policies,” he said.

While the EU as has set a target of protecting 30% of its land and sea areas by 2030, there are currently no initiatives on EU level or domestically in Denmark to develop a voluntary framework for biodiversity credits as a measure to boost private-sector funding of nature protection.

Relying on direct funding for now, the project participants expect the comprehensive project to provide crucial experience and knowledge that other regions in the Scandinavian nation might benefit from in the future.

“Nature-based methods must be able to both meet societal needs for adaptation and to develop natural environments in an ongoing climate crisis,” said Merete Loevschall, director of the Danish Coastal Authority.

“In this respect, Coastal Life will generate important knowledge and educate us in how to design sustainable initiatives,” she added.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com