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ORIGIN: Outdoor recreation, nature interpretation and integration in Nordic countries

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Basic project information

Immigration and the integration of migrants into the Nordic societies have become hot topics due to, not the least, the recent influx of asylum seekers and refugees to Europe. The Nordic countries have accepted far more refugees than most European countries on a per capita basis. Also the more long-term immigration trends show that Nordic countries are becoming more and more multicultural with people moving in from further away than ever before. These developments raise great opportunities to tackle problems related to demographic trends in Nordic countries but they also raise many challenges. Increased attention to, and careful planning of the integration of migrants into Nordic societies has been proposed as the key solution to these challenges.

Nature-based solutions may have the potential of offering an efficient way for better integration of the immigrants. One of the key characteristics across all Nordic societies is a lifestyle which highly values active outdoor recreation and living close to nature – even in urban areas. We have traditionally had a very distinctive human-nature relationship characterised by, for instance, the public right of access to natural areas, foraging traditions and appreciation of natural and rural landscapes and pastoral traditions. Moreover, there is an increasing evidence on the positive benefits of natural and rural landscapes for human health and social, psychological and physical well-being.

Nordic Concil of Ministers' Terrestial Ecosystem Group (TEG) funded the pre-project ORIGIN in 2016 in order increase the understanding of the role of nature and cultural ecosystem services in the social integration of immigrants  into the Nordic societies. The project ORIGIN facilitates Nordic cooperation and networking of public and private organizations and NGOs working with integration and natural/cultural heritage.


Welcome to the 2nd Nordic workshop on nature-based integration in Copenhagen 4th October 2017!

The workshop brings together practitioners and researchers of immigration work and outdoor recreation to find a common understanding on nature-based integration and its best practices. The full program has now been relased and you can find it here.

Register to the workshop here.

New publication out on nature-based integration!

The publication reports the results of the first phase of the project, including the results of a Nordic survey targeted at professionals working with nature-based integration and several descriptions of practical cases from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Download the publication from this link:

Materials of ORIGIN project workshop in Helsinki 5th October

ORIGIN project presentation at Lynet seminar in Helsinki 4th October (in Finnish): Luontokotoutumisen käytännöt ja mahdollisuudet Pohjoismaissa, Kati Pitkänen SYKE (video)

More information:

Kati Pitkänen, senior researcher, +358 295 251 101,

Published 2016-07-01 at 15:03, updated 2018-04-12 at 16:08

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