Nordisk Fond for Miljø og Udvikling

Nordisk Fond for Miljø og Udvikling (NORDECO) is a non-profit charity foundation in in Greenland/Denmark ( NORDECO develops tools and methods, carries out research, connects people and institutions, builds capacity, and supports hands on field projects. Founded in 1991, NORDECO focuses on the goal of supporting local, innovative conservation and development initiatives in remote communities.

The foundation has a long history of working with research, capacity-building and technical assistance in community-based natural resource management throughout coastal areas, wetlands and terrestrial areas. This includes twenty years of experience developing, testing and institutionalising participatory resource monitoring.

Globally, NORDECO has spearheaded the development of bottom-up approaches to natural resource monitoring and management, where local people and government staff are directly involved in data collection and interpretation, and where monitoring is linked to the decisions of local people, using methods that are simple, cheap and require few resources. Such approaches can help generate transparency, accountability and local ownership in sustainable natural resource management initiatives.

In Greenland, NORDECO has assisted the Government in conjunction with local partners to establish community-based natural resource monitoring in seven communities in Qeqertalik and Avannaata Kommunia (; In Arctic Russia, NORDECO is working with local partners to provide indigenous communities with further tools and practical experience in order to engage in a constructive, data-based dialogue on pastureland management with the government.

Together with the organizers of six community based environment monitoring programs, NORDECO has developed a library of ‘good practice’ manuals in community based monitoring that could serve as tools for cross-fertilizing indigenous and local knowledge with scientific knowledge in the Arctic. This Community Based Monitoring Library is intended to enable community members and organizers of community based monitoring programs to access one another’s experience and gain advice on how to collect and use data. In the library, each manual is accompanied by a summary describing what worked, what didn’t work and why, written by the organizers of the community based monitoring program.

With funds from the Danish Ministry of Research and Higher Education and the EU INTAROS programme, NORDECO is coordinating a new project to establish a UArctic Thematic Network on Collaborative Natural Resource Management in the Arctic.

The research publications by NORDECO on participatory environmental monitoring and ecosystem services are among the most cited in their field, and they have contributed to changes in both national and international policy. NORDECO is a member of the Civil Society Organization Network of the Global Environment Facility, a volunteer structure of GEF accredited organisations.

Facts and figures

Year Established 1991
Total Number of Staff 10
Number of Academic Staff 9
Number of Students 8
Focus Areas

Connecting indigenous, local and scientific knowledge systems

Community based natural resource management and monitoring

Use of indigenous and local knowledge to manage resources

Participatory natural resource monitoring

Adaptive management

Fields of Study Offered Social and behavioural science (broad programmes)
Life science (broad programmes)
Agriculture, forestry and fishery (broad programmes)
Environmental protection (broad programmes)