What is the challenge?
Climate change, globalization, and increased consumption of materials and energy lead to higher pressure on the forest resources. The task of intensifying forestry to produce more timber, paper, and energy, while at the same time ensuring ecosystem services, such as biodiversity and recreation, is a complex one. Difficult decisions have to be made if we are to strike a balance between these demands. These decisions have to be supported by scientifically-based land-use strategies to deal with trade-offs on different scales.
How can the programme contribute to a solution?
The program will generate new knowledge within several important areas where critical information for a sustainable development of forests and forestry in Sweden is missing, or is incomplete. These areas include adaptations and mitigations to climate change, water quality, nutrient cycling, and biodiversity.
The program will also make a focused effort at creating a research team where complex environmental issues can be addressed. This is not a trivial task. There is a large need in society for more integrated and interdisciplinary research, together with more comprehensive analyses of problems and decisions-support tools and models. We will establish the necessary competence, methods, and facilities for doing so.
Who will benefit from the results?
The target groups of the research program are those who manage the forest, including non-industrial private owners, forest owner associations, and forest companies. Other target groups are governmental authorities such as the Swedish Forest Agency, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, County Administrative Boards, and other national and local authorities. We also target the general public; this includes private citizens, consumers, politicians, and interest groups.