Norwegian Nature Index

Geographical coverage

Geographical scale of the assessment National,Set of sites
Country or countries covered Norway
Any other necessary information or explanation for identifying the location of the assessment, including site or region name

Conceptual framework, methodology and scope

Assessment objectives

A new comprehansive index wasb developed to acquire an overview of state and trends of biological diversity in Norway. The work identifies impact factors and gaps in knowledge.

Mandate for the assessment

The mandate was given by the Norwegian Government in 2005. Currently the Nature Index is an official indicator for sustainable development in Norway. The index is also the headline indicators for major natural ecosystems in Norway.

Conceptual framework and/or methodology used for the assessment

Other (please specify)

Newly developed mehtodology, based on the Natural Capital Index, the Biological Intactness Index and Living Planet Index

URL or copy of conceptual framework developed or adapted After this publication, the conceptual framework has been further refined. Reference state are now defined as natural ecosystems with low human impacts. For semi-natural grasslands which are dependent on human use (farm animals grazing, haymaking, burning etc.) the reference state is related to the use giving a high biodiversity of natural species. Natural species or surrogates are included after a set of criterias for selecting indicators. See for reports

System(s) assessed

  • Marine
  • Coastal
  • Inland water
  • Forest and woodland
  • Grassland
  • Mountain
  • Wetlands

Species groups assessed

All functional groups; fungi, plants, invertebrates, fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, etc

Ecosystem services/functions assessed


  • Food


Supporting Services/Functions

  • Habitat maintenance

Cultural Services

Scope of assessment includes

Drivers of change in systems and services


Impacts of change in services on human well-being


Options for responding/interventions to the trends observed


Explicit consideration of the role of biodiversity in the systems and services covered by the assessment


Timing of the assessment

Year assessment started


Year assessment finished


If ongoing, year assessment is anticipated to finish

Periodicity of assessment


If repeated, how frequently

Will be updated on full scale every fifth year, minor updates every year

Assessment outputs


All reports in English are published at the web-site

Communication materials (e.g. brochure, presentations, posters, audio-visual media)

Journal publications

Training materials

Other documents/outputs

Tools and processes

Tools and approaches used in the assessment

  • Geospatial analysis
  • Indicators

Process used for stakeholder engagement in the assessment process and which component

Key stakeholder groups engaged

Ministry of Envionment

The number of people directly involved in the assessment process


Incorporation of scientific and other types of knowledge

  • Scientific information only
  • Resource experts (e.g. foresters etc)

Supporting documentation for specific approaches, methodology or criteria developed and/or used to integrate knowledge systems into the assessment

There will be a special issue of the Norwegian Journal of Geography documenting results, methods, outreach, process, future questions etc. coming in December 2013

Assessment reports peer reviewed



Accessibility of data used in assessment

No, but when the new database is implemented, data can be viewed on the internet

Policy impact

Impacts the assessment has had on policy and/or decision making, as evidenced through policy references and actions

After the launch, the Nature Index has been accepted as a sustainalbe indicator of Norway, and also as a headline indicator for each major ecosystem

Independent or other review on policy impact of the assessment


Lessons learnt for future assessments from these reviews

Collaboration among ecologists working on different ecosystems gave valuable insight. Ecologists from sectoral research institutes such as forestry, marine institute and environmental research were valuable

Capacity building

Capacity building needs identified during the assessment

Actions taken by the assessment to build capacity

Network and sharing experiences, Sharing of data/repatriation of data, Workshops

How have gaps in capacity been communicated to the different stakeholders

Knowledge generation

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment

How gaps in knowledge have been communicated to the different stakeholders

Additional relevant information