Silvija Kalninš

Silvija Nora Kalniņš (LV)

Presentation: Stimulating Sustainable - Thinking through Symbiosis of Science and Culture

Silvija Nora Kalniņš has more than 15 years’ experience in project management, including more than ten in environmental governance and education. Worked as Head of office of United Nations Development Programme in Latvia from 2005 to 2010 managing staff and environmental portfolio in climate change, biodiversity and chemicals management. Since 2010 has worked as independent consultant in programme management and development, as well as on project evaluations in countries throughout the Central and Eastern European region.

Under Latvia’s Presidency to the Council of Europe, lead the Latvian team on chemicals management and chaired the European Council International Working Party (WPIEI) on Chemicals/Synergy.

Lecturer on environmental management systems in the Riga Technical University for over six years. In 2014, received an award for her work as a researcher and university lecturer with a Latvian Environmental Science Award in the category “Environmental researcher or university educator”. Received a PhD in environmental engineering from the Riga Technical University in 2014. Publications include the book “Environmental and Energy Management” (S.Valtere,
S.N.Kalniņš, D. Blumberga, 2014) and various articles on evaluations and their methodology, innovative approaches in educating on environment, project management and others. Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal “Environmental and Climate Technologies”. Has worked as a volunteer in nature studies for children from grades 1-4 in Ādaži public school (Latvia) developing and introducing modules for an integrated approach to education.

Together with ornithologist Otars Opermanis and musician Ingus Ulmanis, co-author of the award-winning environmental education & awareness concept “Nature Concerthall”. Executive producer of concerts, CDs and DVDs generating by Nature Concerthall since 2007. Author of songs and lyrics registered in the Latvian Authors’ Association (AKKA/LAA).


The Nature Concerthall - method for public awareness raising which has been tested and practiced in over 17 municipalities in Latvia over 10 years and shows that it is possible, through a specially targeted, interactive and multi-disciplinary approach to attract many thousands of people from different backgrounds, to change perception on the importance of sustainable development and to motivate them to introduce change.

Each year a specific species is selected as the year’s mascot or hero through which the event is created. The species dictates the development of the event in terms of: i) the location selected so that audiences can see the element first-hand; ii) the music which each year is created anew in line with the species’ habitat, behaviour, evolution; iii) the interactive workshops crafted by that year’s key scientists/researchers to showcase the species up close.

Nature concerthall (n.) – 1. the symbiosis of nature, music, science, visual art and poetry; 2. an interactive, educational event on nature; 3. an event that occurs in the summer in a previously undiscovered niche in nature; 4. an ambience event conducted in the open-air.


  • 2007 - Latvian Environmental Science Award for an innovative way of presenting environmental science
  • 2009 and 2011- Latvian Music Award for the best instrumental album of these years for the annual original music compilation from the concerts Hydropsyche instabilis and Fucus vesiculosus.
  • Nature Concerthall album Graphis scripta awarded Latvian Music Award for best concert film in February 2010.
  • 2012 - Best Practise award from the Green Spider Network for the best public awareness campaign on the environment that year.
  • 2011 - PrintArt Award for Fucus vesiculosus CD packaging
  • Silver award for Best Architectural Design in Latvia in 2014.

The Nature Concerthall idea stemmed from musicians wanting to break out of the traditional concert venues and scientists seeking methods to bring knowledge to the public. The event is shaped with:

  • interactive workstations open to the public for 4 hours to gain knowledge
  • discussion between poet and scientist on stage to capture main themes
  • one hour concert with songs and light/video performance

Combined, this event gives the practical information and emotional charge to produce empathy and the public’s deeper understanding and appreciation.

In a survey conducted, 80% of Nature Concerthall audiences noted that the event has given them new knowledge about nature and more than 43% said that the event motivated them to personally take concrete actions for environmental protection.

Due to its multi-disciplinary and sustainable approach, the event attracts audiences of all ages and interests and has led to the following results and benefits:

  • In environmental education, increasing interest of educators on the topics and methods to for integrated and innovative approaches to learning;
  • increases the integration of society (nationalities among one another, and active involvement of a broad scale from the youngest to most elderly populations);
  • reviving Latvian literature on nature with new stories and poetry on ten natural heros;
  • regional development through the promotion of and drawing tourists to previously less- and unknown areas;
  • promotes social interaction and involvement of person’s in the protection of recognized or newlydiscovered local cultural-natural values;
  • increases interest in the symbiosis of human and economic development in a sustainable way (deeper understanding of pressures on environment developed from economic activity, growing interest in eco-tourism);
  • facilitates interest of public in sustainable approach to economic development and its effects on nature, which, in the long-term, provides support to the municipal decision-makers in implementation of environmental measures.

Over the years, Dabas koncertzāle has created 8 CDs and DVDs, each with 12 original songs dedicated to the year’s feature species, a musical score for orchestra, teaching materials for schools, poetry and literature pieces.

Dabas koncertzāle was established in 2005 and is a non-profit association.