Climate change adaptation in Swedish forestry: Driving forces, risks and opportunities

Original source: Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

This synthesis brief summarizes key insights from SEI’s research on climate change adaptation in Swedish forestry as part of the 2008–2015 Mistra-SWECIA programme.

The climate is changing because of human activities, and in Sweden, the forestry sector, which accounts for about 2% of GDP, is particularly exposed to climate change impacts. The forests are already being affected by warmer and more erratic temperatures, changes in precipitation, and extreme weather events. Large-scale losses from storms, droughts, fires and pest infestations are expected to become more common – but forest productivity is also increasing. Adaptation is crucial to minimize vulnerability to negative impacts and seize new opportunities.

By taking a broad perspective on climate risks, vulnerability and adaptation in a real-world context, SEI set out to better understand the social factors that determine the success of adaptation, and how to overcome barriers to enable stakeholders to adapt to the full extent of their capacity. In particular, the research focused on the roughly 330,000 individual owners who manage about half of Sweden’s forests, including about 11.5 million hectares of productive forest land.

SEI’s work in Mistra-SWECIA also fostered science-based stakeholder dialogues to more directly address forest owners’ questions and needs, and to enable knowledge-sharing and collaborative learning among forest owners and researchers. In addition, it examined the role of social networks for communicating different types of knowledge and information among actors, and how they underpin opportunities for – and barriers to – adaptation.

Download the research synthesis brief (pdf)


What is the preference of Swedish forestry stakeholders – biodiversity or production goals?

Original source of brief: SIANI and Focali

Healthy and productive forests benefit us all, but what are the priorities of those directly managing Swedish forests? This brief presents a comparison of the preferences of key stakeholders regarding Swedish forest management and biodiversity protection. According to the Swedish Forest Act, production and environmental goals should be regarded as equally important. The study finds that forest owners, public forestry officials and employees at industrial forestry companies and forest owners’ associations prefer management practices that promote production rather than biodiversity protection.

Copy of brief available here. This brief is based on the following publication:

Nordén, A., J. Coria, A.M. Jönsson, F. Lagergren and V. Lehsten. (2015). Divergence in Stakeholders’ Preferences: Evidence from a Choice Experiment on Forest Landscapes Preferences in Sweden. Working Papers in Economics no: 616. Dept. of Economics, University of Gothenburg.

Disclaimer: Responsibility for the content of this brief rests entirely with the authors.


Job Vacancy in Business Development and Forestry

Are you an expert on Business Development and Forestry?

The department of Forest Products at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala has  is a Job Vacancy as Senior Lecturer with a full time employment.

More information can be found in the announcement and by contacting Anders Roos at SLU.


Workshop for Managing Forests to Promote Environmental Services

Call for abstracts for poster presentations – deadline extended until 14 October 2015


Managing Forests to Promote Environmental Services


Copenhagen, 3-5 November, 2015

University of Copenhagen

Bülowsvej 17

1870 Frederiksberg C

The conference is arranged by the Centre of Advanced Research on Environmental Services from Nordic Forest Ecosystems, CAR-ES, funded by Nordic Forest Research (SNS) 2011-2015. This is an open network that brings together Nordic and Baltic forest researchers in order to provide scientific knowledge on the impacts of forest management on major environmental services for decision making within the forestry sector and for policy development.

The focus of the conference is on the interaction between the forest management and the forest’s environmental ecosystem services in temperate and boreal forests. Four scientific sessions focus on carbon sequestration, water protection, biodiversity, and soil quality, respectively, and a fifth is dedicated to integrated studies. Based on inputs via participants’ oral and poster presentations and discussions, the conference aims at giving present the state-of-the-art and identify knowledge gaps and future challenges. Furthermore, key note presentations by Michael Scherer-Lorenzen (University of Freiburg, Germany) and Bridget Emmet (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, United Kingdom) will link forest management and environmental ecosystem services in a broader perspective, and an overview of ten years of CAR-ES integrated research on carbon sequestration, water protection, biodiversity, and soil quality in the Nordic–Baltic region will be presented.

This extended call welcomes poster presentations from students, researchers and stakeholders more broadly. Please visit the conference website for further details:

Kind regards,

Leena Finer         Lars Högbom   Inge Stupak
LUKE                Skogforsk       University of Copenhagen
Finland             Sweden             Denmark


EFINORD Seminar – 14 October 2015

Potential and consequences of increasing the use of forest bioenergy - 14 October 2015

The promotion of renewable energy is among the key elements of the EU’s energy policy, and mandatory national targets have been defined to increase the share of energy from renewable sources of the gross final energy consumption in 2020. For northern Europe, the use of forest biomass for bioenergy purposes can considerable contribute to these targets. In this perspective we are happy to invite you to the EFINORD seminar Potential and consequences of increasing the use of forest bioenergy.

The seminar will take place in meeting room Aspen at SLU, Umeå, from 09:30 to 15:30 on 14 October 2015. Everyone is welcome but registration is required for coffee and lunch with deadline the 1st of October. The seminar is hosted by the Faculty of Forest Sciences, SLU, and the organizer is EFINORD (European Forest Institute’s North European Regional Office).

For registration and programme please visit EFINORD


Barents Forest Forum

Dates: September 17-18, 2015
Location: Joensuu Science Park, Joensuu, Finland

Promoting wood construction and forest energy

The Barents Forest Forum acts as a cooperation platform for various forest sector stakeholders, and over hundred participants are expected to the event. Contributions from business, research and development, education and administration highlight the role of forest bioeconomy in the Northern Europe, in particular wood construction and forest energy as drivers of sustainable development.

The first Forum day is featured with high level practice oriented presentations and networking, while the second day is devoted to practical demonstrations during the excursion.

The Forum is organized under the auspices of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council as one of the key events under the Finnish chairmanship.

To register and learn more about the scope of the Forum, visit Barents Forest Forum


Air Pollution in the Nordic Countries from Biomass Burning in Eastern Europe: A Policy Brief

Authored by Per Erik Karlsson, Lars Hole, Hans Tømmervik & Elena Kobets

Original source and complete policy brief: NordPub

Polluted air with impacts on human health and ecosystems is transported with the winds over very long distances. Large-scale biomass burning is an important source for polluted air over the northern hemisphere. In 2006, biomass burning occurred on approximately 2 Mha forest and agricultural land in Russia and neighbouring countries. This highly polluted air was transported across northern Europe all the way to Iceland and Svalbard. High air concentrations of black carbon, ozone and high deposition of nitrogen were measured in Scandinavian forests. High concentrations of particulate matter caused health problems. Large-scale wildfires in Russia have continued until today. The Nordic countries and the EU ought to support neighbouring countries in order to restrict wildfires. Important activities are preventing the burning of agricultural waste and fire-prevention activities in forests.


ENERWOODS International Conference

Hosted by: ENERWOODS & Nordic Energy Research
Date: Thursday, 27 August 2015
Time: 08:30-17:00
Location: The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, Stockholm

Wood based energy systems from Nordic and Baltic Forests – How to increase forest productivity and adaptation in tandem with more efficient use of the wood

The Nordic countries have ambitious goals to almost eliminate the fossil fuel from their energy supply and to show global leadership in the transition towards sustainable and renewable energy systems.

The prime objective of the ENERWOODS project is to provide scientifically based knowledge about the role of Nordic forestry in the development of Nordic renewable energy systems. ENERWOODS is funded by Nordic Energy Research under the Nordic Council of Ministers.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Nordic way? And what can we learn from forestry elsewhere and the global forest landscape restoration efforts to support and increase forest adaptation and mitigation?

The conference is free of charge and includes two sessions:

1. Morning Session I – ENERWOODS results

  • Selected results will be presented and we welcome discussions of the implications and perspectives for forests, forestry and the energy and resource supply systems in a renewable Nordic energy system.

2. Afternoon Session II – ENERWOODS in practise and perspectives for the future and the global outlook.

  • Invited speakers provide overview and inspiration for next generation Nordic – Baltic forestry and for future and better uses of wood and woody biomass.

Registration deadline: Saturday, 15 August 2015

Registration application here


Forest Chemistry: ‘Political Support Measures Essential to Commercialisation of Green Chemicals’

Authored by Anna Strom
Original article: Bio4Energy

In terms of technology, the chemical industry at Stenungssund, Sweden, could make the switch today to a renewable raw material as a partial base for its production, according to a recent report from a Swedish national Forest Chemistry project, using existing technology for making plastics from petrochemicals.

However, for the industry to achieve a level of profitability when using wood or woody waste as feedstock comparable to that of using chemicals refined from fossil oil, political support measures similar to those in place for certain types of bioenergy production would be needed, the report authors from SP Processum and Chalmers Technical University say.

“The project shows that it is possible to replace parts of the fossil raw material and to continue and to use existing technology, but [production] volumes and economics are more tricky bits. The conclusion is that ‘green’ chemicals would need to be supported by incentives similar to those in place for bioenergy production”, said Bio4Energy scientist Leif Jönsson, professor at Umeå University, who led one of the Forest Chemistry research projects on the so-called Sugar Platform.

The research in Forest Chemistry focused on three tracks of the chemical-making operations: Production of butanol, olefins and methanol extracted from the sulphate process of pulping operations. An environmental impact assessment was performed by Bio4Energy researchers at the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden in the form of a life-cycle assessment attempting to gauge the environmental and climatic impact of switching 25 per cent of the raw material base for the totality of the production at the industrial cluster to woody feedstock, as compared with a continued used of petrochemical feedstock.

“We have examined the preconditions both for processes in which cellulose-based ethanol and methanol made by gasification of raw materials from the forest are produced as starting materials from the production of chemicals and plastics. The project results show that it is feasible to use existing techniques, even if additional technological progress is welcome as it would make the processes more efficient.

“Looking at the technical side of things is very important since, in addition to bulk products, one could make high value-added products. There is good reason to continue the work, for instance on lignin products”, according to Jönsson.

Bio4Energy’s LCA researchers on the project stressed the importance of assessing the sustainability of products coming out of the cluster along their collective value chain.

“One has to look at the whole value chain. This is a very important result of the project for industry”, said Johanna Berlin who works as a research and business developer at the SP’s Gothenburg branch.

“If environmental impact strategies are designed based on what happens inside the gates of an industry cluster only, one runs the risk of causing greater emissions outside the gates than necessary”, Berlin added.

The Forest Chemistry project, started in 2012, has involved cooperation by chemical and forestry industry, as well as scientists from the academy and consultants from research institutes. It has served to bring two industries together which previously would have had little contact, and bred an understanding that industry and academy need to cooperate for society to realise a transition to a bioeconomy, according to the project’s final report, published last month.

“The project has succeeded in bringing together the forestry industry and biorefinery industry and academic actors. The parties appreciate this very much and would like to see a continuation”, Jönsson said.

The final report of the Forest Chemistry project, From green forest to green commodity chemicals – Evaluating the potential for large-scale production in Sweden for three value chains, is available for download on the website of the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems.

The following organisations have been part of the Forest Chemistry project:

Bio4Energy – Professor Leif Jönsson, PhD student Frida Røyne (SP/Umeå University), as well gasification and torrefaction researchers at the Luleå University of Technology (Rikard Gebart) and Umeå University (Anders Nordin), respectively;
Chalmers University of Technology;
Domsjö Fabriker
MoRe Research;
SP Processum;
SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden;
Sveaskog and;
Umeå University.

SP Processum, acting as project leader for Forest Chemistry, issued a press release in Swedish on the conclusions drawn in the project’s final report.


SNS Funds Four New Networks – This Time Together with NKJ

For the period of 2015 – 2017, SNS is collaborating together with the Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research (NKJ) by financing four Nordic research networks. The aim of this funding opportunity is to promote international and cross-sectorial networking between researchers and stakeholders from the agricultural and forestry sectors.

These networks will form a platform for communication as well as assess challenges, knowledge gaps and opportunities in the areas of sustainable biomass utilisation and production in both sectors, while in context of the transition to a greater bio-based economy.

SNS-NKJ Networks:

1. SNS-NKJ 01: “Fibre Ties – The use of fibrous materials from biomass”
Coordinator:  Anne Christine Steenkjær Hastrup
Funded with 345.000 SEK

2. SNS-NKJ 02: “Sustainable production of biomass – a sectorial perspective”
Coordinator: Ljusk Ola Eriksson
Funded with 180.000 SEK

3. SNS-NKJ 03: “Effects of bioenergy production from forests and agriculture on ecosystem services in Nordic and Baltic landscapes”
Coordinator: Nicholas Clarke
Funded with 330.000 SEK

4. SNS-NKJ 04: “The Nordic network for pathogen-informed control of oomycete diseases in forestry and agriculture”
Coordinator: Laura Grenville-Briggs Didymus
Funded with 183.000 SEK