Cooperation for sustainable forestry

Two of the SNS CAR’s are linking their work in a joint workshop, which will strengthen both.

Photo: Markku Saarinen

Much of the land area in the Nordic-Baltic region is forest covered. Also in Iceland forest cover is being actively increased. Nordic-Baltic forests are a valuable natural resource, not only economically as a source of biomass, but also for instance by providing carbon sinks, a major part of biodiversity in the region, and – not least – serving us all as an environment for recreation. Sustainable forest management that secures continued provision of the different services is thus key for continued welfare in the region. How sustainability can be described, achieved and maintained has been a topic for intensive research for several decades and will likely continue to be that in the foreseeable future, due to the complexity of the issues included.

Joint workshop

Sustainable forest management is also a goal for the Centers of Advanced Research (CAR) funded by the Nordic Forest Research (SNS). Two of these, the Centre of Advanced Research on Environmental Services from Nordic Forest Ecosystems (CAR-ES) and the Nordic-Baltic Network for Operational Research (NB-NORD), held a joint workshop at Skogforsk, Uppsala, on February 21-22. CAR-ES focuses on enhancing environmental ecosystem services, while NB-NORD focuses on forest operations and raw-material supply. Collaboration between forest ecology and operations experts is critical, so that we can provide decision-makers, professionals and general public with information on the responses of ecosystem services to different management options.

Win-win situation

Raw-material acquisition from forests and production of the various bioproducts needs to be economic and efficient but also have as small a footprint as possible. NB-NORD holds the expertise on what kind of supply chains and forest operations are the most relevant from the bioproduct point of view, and the potential for developing these, while CAR-ES holds the expertise on the ecosystem services that respond to different points of the supply chains, and how these responses are best quantified. Emerging monitoring technologies, big data and modelling offer new opportunities but also new challenges to both. Recent research within NB-NORD has focused on, for instance, developing and testing novel machinery for harvesting on sensitive soils such as peat soils or moist mineral soils. Within CAR-ES on the other hand, effects of management of forests on peat soils on the greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient and sediment loading to watercourses are included in key focus areas. Linking these fields of research will increase the impact of both.

CAR-ES and NB-NORD are networks for researchers from all Nordic and Baltic countries.

NB-NORD is coordinated by Professor Rolf Björheden, Skogforsk, Sweden, rolf.bjorheden@skogforsk.se, more information here.

CAR-ES is coordinated by Professor Raija Laiho, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), raija.laiho@luke.fi, more information here.

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