How is Denmark hoping to boost biodiversity? With a national competition of course

Natural Environment

Few things motivate like a good old-fashioned competition, especially one that offers an injection of cash as its prize. And one country hoping to capitalise on just this idea is Denmark.

While talk abounds about boosting biodiversity, including policy shifts and pledges spurred on by high-level conferences such as COP15, on-the-ground action is often harder to realise.

This is presumably why Scandinavia’s fourth biggest country has decided to swerve the usual routes and tap into Danes’ sense of national pride in order help give biodiversity a substantial boost.

Denmark’s Minister of the Environment Lea Wermelin has invited all 98 of the country’s municipalities to compete for the title of ‘Denmark’s Wildest Municipality’. All 98 have risen to the challenge, and we still have more than a month to go until the competition deadline of March 24th.

Wild projects submitted so far include everything from nature-focused education in kindergartens to business collaborations.

On the contest, which is part of the ‘United for a WILDER Denmark’ campaign, Wermelin said:

“A new movement is moving in over Denmark – and with it comes wild nature! Nature is in crisis and we must step in where we can. That is why it is fantastic that all the country's municipalities are now involved. It shows that the local support for a wilder nature is great throughout the country.

“We can all do something, and together we can do a whole lot. My wish with the competition to become Denmark's wildest municipality has been to get the wild nature on the agenda everywhere. And it must be said to have succeeded now that all Danish municipalities have thrown themselves into the race to become the wildest.”

The contest will run until the end of 2022, and as well as the winning region walking away with the accolade of Denmark's WILDEST municipality they will also receive 1 million Danish Krone (around £112,713 at today’s exchange rate) from the Danish Nature Fund for a WILD nature project.

A team of filmmakers is following the competition, and their recordings will broadcast in 2023 in the second season of Gi os naturen tilbage (Give us nature back) on Danish national television. More than 500,000 viewers tuned into the first season in autumn, 2020.


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