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

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) and Department of Knowledge and Welfare have funded the project ORIGIN 2016-2018 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.

Project news

Nature as a solution for immigrant integratio The results of the second phase of the ORIGIN project are published in a new report “Defining Nature-based integration – perspectives and practices from the Nordic countries”. In addition to key research findings, the report includes 16 descriptions from practitioners in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway that illustrate the various ways nature is used for integration across these countries.

Download the report from this link: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/236244

2nd Nordic workshop on nature-based integration in Copenhagen 4th October 2017

The second workshop in Copenhagen in 2017 addressed the challenges identified at the first workshop. The workshop brought together 28 participants from Nordic countries, consisting of researchers, practitioners and public sector representatives to find a common understanding on nature-based integration and its best practices.

Materials of the workshop:

  • The workshop programme (here).

PUBLICATION 2017: Nature-based integration: Nordic experiences and examples

The publication reports the results of the first phase of the ORIGIN 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: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-4859.

1st Nordic workshop on nature-based integration in Helsinki 5th October 2016

The first workshop was organised in 2016 in Helsinki with 27 participants from Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. At the workshop, the participants learned about current practices in different countries, as well as they had the opportunity to network. The workshop revealed that specially a broad range of third sector organisations have taken the initiative and started to develop nature-based practices for immigrants and involve them in the ongoing practices and activity groups. The aim of these activities is to familiarise the immigrants with Nordic nature and ways of using it in order to make the newcomers aware of the broad range of opportunities in the Nordic nature and provide opportunities for immigrants to form social bonds with the rest of the community. One of the outcomes of the discussions at the workshop was that the knowledge and experiences gathered in these experiments and initiatives should be more effectively transferred and disseminated not only nationally but also across the Nordic borders.

Materials of the workshop:

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, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi

Published 2016-07-01 at 15:03, updated 2024-03-22 at 9:38

Target group: