Danish catchment officers visit Sweden for knowledge exchange

23 September 2019 - Published by Alistair Maltby
From the 4th to the 6th of September, Danish catchment officers visited Skåne and Halland to exchange knowledge concerning local involvement in water governance.

20 local Catchment Officers (and participants from SEGES) visited 6 of the 20 new pilots from the Swedish National Program, as well as the 10-year-old Tullstorpså project which is fully driven by farmers. There was also an inspiring visit to the EU LIFE project GoodStream, where Hushållningssällskapet Halland are implementing many new measures and engaging with local farmers.

There were also participants from Swedish national authorities, Swedish research institutes and the EU Baltic Sea Project WaterDrive.

Even though the roles of Catchment Officers in Denmark and Sweden seem similar, there are many differences between the programs due to different governance structures and traditions. The driver for the National Program for Catchment Officers in Denmark has primarily been to implement the National Government goal of establishing 900 hectares of constructed wetlands within 3-4 years (approx. 1000-1500 wetlands in total). In contrast, Sweden’s primary goal for the new Catchment Officers is to support local measures against eutrophication, to evaluate how planning of measures can be strengthened, and to decide what incentives are needed for measures against eutrophication to be carried out (“Lokalt engagemang för vatten” / LEVA).

 The WaterCoG project has played an important role in upscaling the Catchment Officer concept from the UK to pilots in Denmark and Sweden, and later to national programs in both countries. Pilots have also launched in several countries around the Baltic Sea within the WaterDrive project.