Mistra-SWECIA – Mistra Swedish Research Programme on Climate, Impacts and Adaptation

Programme ended 2015.

This post is also available in Swedish


Climate change is a reality and it is now a matter of urgency to analyse what effects this change has on the environment and on society, as well as how we must adapt activities and behaviour to the changing circumstances. Climate adaptation is not an alternative to reducing emissions as a climate measure. The more emissions are reduced, the less need there is for adaptation. However both these measures are now relevant, because some aspects of climate change cannot now be prevented. When the programme began, there was still only marginal focus on climate adaptation in Sweden.

Climate activities are relevant for all sectors of society and stakeholders, both public and private. What the challenges are, how great they are and what the possibilities are all differ from sector to sector and stakeholder to stakeholder. For eight years, the Mistra-SWECIA  research programme produced new knowledge and developed research-based data for decisions on climate adaptation. There was a particular focus on how the Swedish forests and forestry and their various stakeholders were affected and on possible decisions and measures.


The programme had a specific focus on forest and Swedish forestry. Expertise in many research areas such as climatology, ecosystem science, economics, sociology and political science was combined in an interdisciplinary approach, and climate issues were studied from different perspectives and on a variety of scales: how the climate changes, the effects of climate change and possible strategies for climate adaptation. The studies considered climate effects on production, ecosystem services, biological diversity and opportunities for recreation.

Mistra-SWECIA increased our knowledge of how the regional climate is changed depending on different emission paths, how this can affect forests and other ecosystems and opportunities for adapting forestry so as to address the challenges. There are more than 300,000 private forest owners in Sweden who, together with larger-scale forest owners, are important stakeholders in the adaptation of forests to climate change. After Mistra-SWECIA, we now know more about how private forest owners and forestry advisers see climate change and risks, various ways of caring for the forests and what knowledge is needed in order to adapt forestry to a changing climate.

Climate change and its effects are global, regional and local. Many activities are affected by not only direct but also indirect climate effects, and thus also by action that is taken to reduce global emissions. For this reason, Mistra-SWECIA  studied climate issues on all these three scales. As well as regional climate change and effects, studies also covered the future global use of land and the formulation of climate solutions such as a global carbon dioxide tax. Swedish forestry is also affected by global processes, trading patterns and political instruments of control.


The results benefit the whole of society, directly or indirectly. The programme included collaboration with decision makers at various levels. Some of the most important users are those stakeholders who are directly or indirectly responsible for the process of climate adaptation: relevant authorities, national, sectoral and private decision makers, industry organisations, companies etc.

The new models, scenarios and analyses that have been produced also provide results, tools and starting points for Swedish and international research into the area. The programme’s results will also contribute to international and national processes in climate research and policy.


The annual reports contain articles on the programme’s research, collaboration with various stakeholders and other activities. Most of the publications and presentations that were produced as part of Mistra-SWECIA are listed in the reports.

The synthesis report is an extract from the longer report Climate change adaptation in Swedish forestry: Driving forces, risks and opportunities, which is available only in Swedish. This report, with the same name,
focuses on the social science contribution to Mistra-SWECIA

The Impact Report gives a summary of the programme’s research and contribution to society.