EU Funding to Boost Mapmaking in Iceland Skip to content

EU Funding to Boost Mapmaking in Iceland

The Icelandic Institute for Natural History (NÍ) and the National Land Survey of Iceland will obtain approximately ISK 585 million (USD 4.6 million, EUR 3.7 million) in IPA funds from the European Union to map Icelandic nature.

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The European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

The funds will be distributed in a period of three years and are higher than all of the contributions to NÍ from the state in one year combined. They will be granted because of Iceland’s application for EU membership, Fréttablaðið reports.

Directror of NÍ Jón Gunnar Ottósson said the funds will enable a larger step to be taken in mapmaking in Iceland than ever before.

“We have been planning to make a biotope map of the country for about 13 years and always been shown much understanding, yet there have never been any significant financial contributions to the project. We are way behind other nations in this respect,” Jón Gunnar stated.

With the project, Iceland will fulfill its obligations towards the Bern Treaty on the preservation of wild plants, animals and their natural habitats.

The fund will be used to build up the NATURA 2000 network in Iceland, according to which the country’s ecosystems and birdlife will be registered to identify areas in need of protection.

Satellite pictures will be taken and a topographic model made in addition to a natural condition map. Moreover, the condition of the country’s bird stocks will be reevaluated.

“We will obtain data of significant importance, not just for nature protection but also for the planning of municipalities and in various other aspects. The results will be economically advantageous,” Jón Gunnar stated.

The Icelandic parliament, Alþingi, gave the government the authority to sign a framework agreement on the IPA funds last week. Jón Gunnar hopes that it will be signed in the coming days.

The agreement will stand regardless of whether Icelanders decide to join the EU or not. “The EU talks aside, this is an incredibly large issue that has been landed,” Jón Gunnar concluded.

Seven projects will receive a total of ISK 2 billion (USD 16 million, EUR 13 million) in IPA funding.

Click here to read more about Iceland and the EU.

ESA

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