This study has been inspired by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). IPBES was established in 2012 to provide policymakers with adequate knowledge and tools for decisions by bringing them together with scientists and other knowledge holders. At IPBES-2 in Antalya, 2013, Nordic representatives decided to work together along the lines set out by IPBES to explore the possibilities for this approach on a Nordic scale. Initially, the project was led by Norway, then by Sweden, and it was financially supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers. This cooperation led to a scoping study of options for a Nordic report, and to the current study, of which this is the summary for policymakers. The Summary for policymakers is based on two volumes, 1) the general overview (Chapters) and 2) the geographical case studies, from the report “Biodiversity and ecosystem services in Nordic coastal ecosystems – an IPBES-like assessment”. The report is a result of Nordic cooperation among Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Åland Islands.