More than 90% of Iceland’s lowland wetlands, which are rich in birds, invertebrates and plants, have historically been drained for conversion to agriculture. Over 350,000 ha of these damaged ecosystems are no longer in use, yet they collectively account for almost three quarters of national carbon emissions.
The Icelandic Wetland Fund is now leading a partnership to plan restoration of the Hvalfjarðarsveit (Whale Fjord) watershed by reinstating natural hydrological processes. This will create a win-win-win scenario by protecting the Grunnafjörður Ramsar site, restoring habitats and reducing carbon emissions.
Engaging the community, farmers and landowners, this partnership will refine methodologies for measuring emissions, monitoring biodiversity and planning large-scale restoration – in time creating replicable educational and economic opportunities.