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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News announcement30 June 2023European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency2 min read

GRIP on LIFE-IP film ‘Swedish pearls’ wins gold at Golden Award of Montreux

The award-winning film ‘Swedish pearls’ conveys an important message: where the freshwater pearl mussel is, there is life.  Svenska pärlor - YouTube 

swedish-pearl
© EU

The GRIP on LIFE-IP film ‘Swedish pearls’, produced by Bitzer Productions AB on behalf of Södra Skogsägarna, has won Gold in the 'Social responsibility' category at the Golden Award of Montreux.  

The film explores the historical circumstances that have affected the freshwater pearl mussel in Sweden, such as the search for pearls throughout the 20th century, as well as the special life cycle of the remarkable creature. Moreover, it highlights the conditions that are needed for the mussel to survive. For example, the freshwater mussel needs trout or salmon populations in their streams in order to reproduce, as the mussel larvae can only grow attached to the gills of these specific fish.  

As part of a unique natural heritage, the freshwater mussel provides essential ecosystem services to its surroundings, making it an important species to monitor. 

The long-term goal of GRIP on LIFE- IP is to assist in the implementation of the Prioritised Action Framework (PAF) for Natura 2000 in Sweden. The PAF for Natura 2000, produced by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), has declared the need for direct action regarding almost all types of habitats included in the Habitats Directive. 

The improved implementation of the PAF could begin with watercourses and wetlands, as these environments have a high nature conservation value and provide diverse ecosystem services, such as carbon storage and flood control. The GRIP on LIFE-IP project aims to improve the environment and conditions for animals and plants that live in watercourses and wetlands in the forest landscape. The project strives towards the sustainable use of natural resources to preserve crucial habitats for animals and plants in the future.  

Human activities at different geographical levels, from local to global, affect the overall condition of watercourses and wetlands in Sweden. Hence, these ecosystems form the ideal foundation for cooperation and capacity building between different stakeholders, such as government agencies, landowners, and contractors. Through its work, GRIP on LIFE-IP encourages authorities, forest owner associations and other stakeholder groups to join efforts to secure the sustainable and resilient future of streams, rivers, lake systems and wetlands across Sweden.  

The prize awarded by the Golden Award of Montreux is the fourth recognition for the GRIP on LIFE-IP film about the freshwater pearl mussel.

Related article:
Six LIFE projects showing some mussel (europa.eu)

Svenska pärlor - YouTube
© European Union, 2023

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