Easterners interested in climate issues

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On June 5, Matís, together with Austurbrú, held a workshop organized by the European project NATALIE in Reyðarfjörður. At the end of last year, the European project began NATALIE, which Matís and East Bridge are participants in. The main focus of the project is to develop so-called nature-based solutions (NBS). These solutions are intended to respond to the problems caused by climate change. These include the increased risk of landslides, rising sea levels, algae blooms and more.

The goal of the workshop was to introduce the project to the main stakeholders in the area and get their perspective on the possibilities offered by the project. In the case of NATALIE, the stakeholders are all those who have to deal with some kind of challenges related to climate change, and it is therefore a diverse group that comes to the project. There were 11 participants in the workshop and they came from municipalities, companies and institutions in the region. The project NATALIE was introduced to the participants and group work then took place according to the project's standard work method. Work was done on climate challenges, possible nature-based solutions and obstacles that could stand in the way of their implementation. A key point is to get the perspective of stakeholders before starting to implement nature-based solutions. They are experts when it comes to the problems the area is facing and can therefore contribute knowledge that is not obvious to outsiders, for example about the status of operations, proposed solutions and the importance of certain infrastructure.

The workshop went well and it was gratifying to see how active the participants were and willing to contribute so that NATALIE's goals are achieved. The region's economic operators are already aware of the climate-related challenges facing the East and want to increase the region's resilience in relation to them. This great interest in climate and environmental issues among stakeholders in East Iceland is valuable for the NATALIE project, and Matís and Austurbrú look forward to further cooperation.

NATALIE is a five-year project and there are a total of 43 participants, from all over Europe, from Romania to Iceland. The challenges these regions face are different, but they all have one thing in common to do with the water cycle. The project is extensive, but Matís is in charge of research area 7 (i.e. Case study 7) which covers the Arctic. Matís and Austurbrú will, in good cooperation with stakeholders in the region, participate in the development of new NBS solutions in the region. The solutions are developed in collaboration with experts at Exeter University and the Arctic University of Tromsø (UiT).

The project NATALIE is financed by the Horizon Europe program of the European Union under grant N° 101112859.