Promoting sustainable forestry in a growing bioeconomy for Europe (PROFOR)

Coordinator: Matleena Kniivilä, matleena.kniivila@luke.fi, LUKE

Final report 2020

Final report 2021


In December 2019, the European Commission launched The European Green Deal, a new growth strategy and roadmap that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society with a greener competitive economy, with a net-zero emission of GHG by 2050.

The ambition of European Green Deal signals a societal transformation not experienced for decades in Europe. European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament all states that the transition should be science-based and emphasize the role of forests in achieving the goals for a wide range of policy objectives.

PROFOR network is a network representing a variety of researchers and research institutions in the Nordic-Baltic countries. The network’s added value is the ability to synthesize current Nordic-Baltic forest related research of value for the implementation of the European Green Deal and provide this science as policy support for decision makers designing these policies in Brussels and elsewhere. The major relevance of the network will be to present Nordic-Baltic research in a way that is clearly targeted to support knowledge-based decisions in the implementation of different aspects of European Green Deal both at EU and national level.

European forests and their dynamics, as well as the use of forests vary between the regions. Therefore a region-specific view on forest and sustainable forestry needs to be highlighted at EU level.  From a Nordic-Baltic perspective the network will focus especially on the ‘Trilemma’ how enhanced carbon storage and sequestration, production of roundwood for wood-based products to substitute fossil-based raw materials and maintained forest biodiversity with capacity to deliver environmental and ecosystem services, can simultaneously be met.


Overall long-term goals for the network

  • To advance the sustainable use of forests in Europe by synthesizing science-based   knowledge to tackle the conflicting goals of sustainable forest management, including enhancement of forest resilience and practical implementation of climate-smart forestry, and use of forest resources in a growing bioeconomy with focus on all aspects of sustainability.
  • To increase the interaction between science and policy, and bring together research, industry, politics, and stakeholders from these sectors in the participating countries as  well as in
  • To advocate for increased European funding for research and innovation regarding sustainable forestry, and to promote participation from network partners in EU funded projects.

Goals for 2023        

  • To continue the work of the established Nordic-Baltic network for cooperation to support the Green Deal policy processes with scientific knowledge, to influence European forest research funding, and to maintain connections with policy makers and other stakeholders in Brussels.
  • To raise awareness of Nordic-Baltic forest research in the
  • To increase Nordic-Baltic synergies to have an influence on the European Green Deal strategies and Horizon Europe research funding, by developing common Nordic-Baltic science-based visions, positions and objectives for future


Activities in 2023

  • We will organize a hybrid seminar to EU policymakers and relevant key stakeholders in Brussels. Overarching theme of the seminar will be ‘Science for multifunctional forests and the European Green Deal’, with a specific view on the rapid changes both in climate and policies impacting the use of forests in the implementation of European Green Deal objectives. The seminar will investigate ways to maintain and enhance the role of forests in meeting these challenges. The seminar takes place in June 2023, alternatively in September-November 2023.
  • We will write a Policy Brief which will be presented in the seminar and make the basis for the PROFOR presentations in the seminar.
  • We will organize targeted visits to relevant Commission DGs and other decision makers to discuss our message. Another target group for visits is stakeholders, especially environment related NGOs. The visits will take place back-to-back with the seminar in Brussels.
  • We will organize a workshop to prepare the Policy Brief and PROFOR presentations in the seminar. The WS takes place 7-8 March 2023 in Uppsala. Stakeholders will be invited. In the WS we will also discuss the drastic changes in the operational environment for forestry caused by e.g., pandemic and the Russian invasion to Ukraine, and colleagues from Ukraine will be invited to the WS.


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