The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Forest governance to meet global challenges

forest trees with grass below, sunlight. Photo.

Different aspects of forest governance were presented as well as landscape approaches to achieve multiple goals were discussed and exemplified.

Different aspects of forest governance were presented in the morning by three invited speakers, Erik Sollander from the Swedish Forest Agency, Carina Keskitalo from Umeå University and Marie Appelstrand from Lund University. In the afternoon, landscape approaches to achieve multiple goals were discussed and exemplified by Olof Johansson, Sveaskog. After that, a panel discussion followed, with the four speakers and Henrik Smith from Lund University. The discussion was moderated by Marianne Hall, also from Lund University. The content of the talks are very briefly described below, together with a summary of the panel discussion.

Full presentations or parts of them, can be found in this link directed to the Grand Challenge Ecosystem service theme page

Erik Sollander, Swedish Forest Agency/Skogsstyrelsen
Forest governance, how to meet global challenges?”
Erik gave an overview of current systems of governance and suggested that we have a hybrid system of governance policies and CSR certification (Corporate Social Responsibility).  He highlighted the possibilities and limitations between the two systems. He pointed out that there is a large risk for inconsistencies since the two systems are not coordinated. But he also stated that this presumably is what we were aiming for, and that the government should enable and stimulate voluntary change. The discussion afterwards was about certification, how much is certified and implications of not being certified. Erik pointed out that it is possible to sell non-certified wood, since a fraction of FSC-certified products can be non-certified inputs. One question was how certification works for small forest owners. Erik pointed out that PEFC is more adapted to smaller estates than FSC.

Carina Keskitalo, Professor in Political Science, Department of Geography, Umeå University,
Who governs the forest in Sweden
Carina pointed out that forest legislation, which has existed since the 12th century, has been about extracting for economic benefits. She raised the question about how much can be done with voluntary means and discussed the role of certification from different perspectives. She presented results from studies on the “new type of forest owners”,  showing e.g. that many forest owners owning land in the north live far away from their land, and their goals for their forests differ widely. Finally she gave examples of conflicts that can occur in multiuse forestry in a changing climate. Afterwards a question was raised about the new group of forest owners and what choices they make and why, i.e. do they keep and enjoy the inheritance or sell and enjoy the money? Carina answered that It depends to a large extent on the size of the property (i.e how much money they can earn), how much they need the money and how much time they spend there. Another question was about the role for economic instruments to intervene. Carina argued that regulative instruments perhaps should be first option, rather than the economic ones. 

Marie Appelstrand, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Business Law, Lund,
Governing through the ages – steering and voluntariness in the Swedish forestry sector
Marie first gave an overview of forest governance since the 1200s. Then she presented a positive example of a successful arena for cooperation between different interests, which started off in a conflict: Östra Vätterbranterna. Finding the ‘social key habitats’ was central to the good cooperation in the example given in Jönköping. The group structure, ‘adhocracy’ – was key for its success. Two key persons  
(“eldsjälar”) were driving the process. The discussions after the talk were about if this can be repeated at other places. Marie pointed out the importance of the “eldsjälar” (enthusiasts/drivers of change) who were driving the process in Östra Vätterbranterna. It would not have been possible without them. She gave another example, with the same preconditions as in Östra Vätterbranterna, but without “eldsjälar”, where the efforts to cooperate

Olof Johansson, Forest policy director Sveaskog,
A landscape approach to biodiversity and water conservation
Olof started to ask the question if a landscape approach could be used to take different interests into account, and described Sveaskogs way of thinking in this respect. He pointed out that nature conservation can be done in different scales – Ecoparks (currently 175 000 ha), Nature conservation forests (300 000 ha) and retention in everyday operations (125 000 ha).  He also advocated for a more holistic view, to not only divide into set-aside areas and areas used for forestry, since it depends on what kind of activities you are doing. A question afterwards was about the controversy that has been around Ecoparks, regarding how much is actually being conserved.  Olof answered that 110 000 out of the 175 000 ha is set aside, and pointed out that conservation and production (with more nature consideration than usual) was meant to be combined in the Ecoparks, and that it seems a bit non-optimizing to set aside more in the Ecoparks, since nature conservation would be more beneficial in other areas.  Furthermore, the importance of protection of deciduous trees came up in the discussions. 


Summary by Cecilia Akselsson and Cheryl Sjöström