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EU funding to boost mapmaking in Iceland

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

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, Iceland Review reported.

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 fulfil 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 re-evaluated.

“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,” said Jón Gunnar.

Source: Iceland Review