The Living North Sea Initiative was a collaborative project, exploring how to improve the health of the North Sea ecosystem.


The North Sea ecosystem is one of the most varied marine ecosystems in the world; shallow depths and rich nutrients mean it is very productive. It is also one of the most heavily exploited marine ecosystems worldwide. About 200 million people live in the vicinity of the North Sea, with seven countries directly adjacent to it. For centuries the people of the North Sea have benefited from the services offered by the sea, including food, energy, transport and a stable, comfortable climate. But growing intensity of human activities over the past few decades is having a negative effect on the quality of this ecosystem.

The Living North Sea Initiative (LiNSI) was a North Sea wide multi-stakeholder programme, supported by the oil and gas industry, which aimed to contribute to improving the health of the North Sea ecosystem and to develop a funding mechanism for improvement plans. In particular, LiNSI explored the potential opportunities provided by the decommissioning of offshore oil and gas infrastructure.

LiNSI operated from 2010 to 2015, conducting broad research and engaging informally with a large number of stakeholders across the North Sea on the following topics:

  • The state of the North Sea ecosystem and how it might be improved;
  • The ecological value and impacts of oil and gas structures and different approaches to decommissioning in the North Sea;
  • Experiences with the use of oil and gas structures for reef construction elsewhere in the world;
  • Environmental impacts and costs of various approaches to decommissioning of oil and gas structures in the North sea;
  • Decommissioning regulations in the North Sea;
  • The potential role and structure of a North Sea Fund that could be created as part of a North Sea ‘rigs-to-reefs’ programme.

More information about the project and full reports from various stages of the project can be found at Eco-Effective Strategies.

The LiNSI programme came to an end in 2015. However, many stakeholders who participated in the LINSI project continue to be actively interested in the concept. 

Forum for the Future is now working with Eco-Effective Strategies to build on the work of the LiNSI programme, exploring opportunities to develop an NGO-led, multi-stakeholder programme to improve the heath of the North Sea ecosystem and accelerate the transition to sustainable use. If you are a stakeholder and would like to know more, please, feel free to contact us.

Eco-Effective Strategies

Anne-Mette Jørgensen

Forum for the Future

Clare Martynski


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