Ecosystem Management and Social-Ecological Resilience in Kristianstads
Vattenrike and River Helgeå catchment
Kristianstads Vattenrike covers 110 ha of the Helgeå River catchment area and
the coastal regions of Hano Bay within the municipality of Kristianstad.
The Centre for Research on Natural Resources and the Environment (CNM) at the
University of Stockholm in collaboration with the Ecomuseum Kristianstads
Vattenrike (EKV). There are about 20 local steward associations involved in
ecosystem restoration and management projects as well as private landowners and
Dr. Carl Folke
Director, Center for Research on Natural Resources and Environment (CNM)
Professor, Department of Systems Ecology
S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Tel: 46 8 153665
Fax: 46 8 6747036
The overall goal of the project is to strengthen the capacity to manage
semi-urban ecosystems sustainably for the wellbeing of human populations.
Important questions include: Which role does local ecological knowledge play in
management and how is it related to scientific knowledge? How are the
institutional and organizational structures of management embedded at different
organizational levels, to what extent do they allow for social or collaborative
learning and how is legal competence linked to ecological scales? What are the
potentials for improved cooperation to increase adaptive capacity to respond to
change and uncertainty?
A number of scientific papers are currently being completed and will be
published in scientific journals, books and also in journals in Swedish.
Popular articles and dissemination of information through CNM and the
information organization Albaeco is planned.
Key features of the assessment
Kristianstads Vattenrike (KV) is a dynamic semi-urban area of high biological
and cultural-historical values, generating essential ecosystem services in
South-Eastern Sweden. The ecosystem services are related to cultivation and
annual floods, and are managed by a large network of local steward
associations. The area was designated to have international importance by the
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1974, and is currently being evaluated to
become a Unesco Man and Biosphere (MAB) Reserve.
The area includes Sweden’s largest wet grassland landscape used for grazing and
hay-making. Many of the unique values of the area are associated with these
social-ecological systems, which depend on both the proliferation of grazing
and hay-making, and the annual flooding of Helgeå River. Much of the area is
agricultural land; the sandy and clay soils around Kristianstad have been and
still are important for agricultural production and the area is one of the most
productive in Sweden. Important habitats include large beech forests, wet
forests, willow bushes and sandy grasslands with unique flora and fauna. The
area also holds the largest groundwater reserve in northern Europe.
There are about 20 local steward associations involved in ecosystem restoration
and management projects as well as private landowners and local firms. These
projects are generally initiated and facilitated by Ecomuseum Kristianstads
Vattenrike (EKV), a small, informal municipality administration. EKV emerged in
1989, when land values were declining due to abandoned cultivation. Now, EKV
provides an arena for conflict resolution and collaborates with international
associations, national, regional and local authorities, non-profit associations
and landowners. EKV also develops policy, goals and projects for KV. Thus, our
assessment addresses local ecosystem knowledge as well as cross-scale issues.
Our assessment will be carried out during the period 2002-2005.