Some Baltic Sea Region countries have embraced wetlands construction as a way to make agriculture more sustainable. Sweden has made great efforts, but only achieved 60% of its target of adding 12,000 hectares of wetlands between 2000 and 2010.

The analysis finds that Sweden may be focusing too narrowly on wetlands’ role in containing and removing nutrients (i.e. nitrogen and phosphorus) from agricultural runoff. Wetlands can bring many other benefits: increased biodiversity, flood risk reduction, recreational opportunities, the availability of irrigation reservoirs and more. The full range of benefits should be valued and promoted.

The brief also explains how the structure of financing mechanisms affects engagement and outcomes, and it encourages policy-makers to explore ways to promote basin-level and other larger-scale projects. It ends with a series of specific policy recommendations.

Download the policy brief (PDF, 1.7MB)