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Research article2020Peer reviewed

Policy goals and instruments for achieving a desirable future forest: Experiences from backcasting with stakeholders in Sweden

Sandstrom, Camilla; Kanyama, Annika Carlsson; Raty, Riitta; Sonnek, Karin Mossberg; Nordstrom, Eva-Maria; Mossing, Annika; Nordin, Annika


The future of forests is a controversial issue in Sweden and elsewhere. Different stakeholder groups differ in the importance they give to roles they envision forests should have in, for example, the national economy, the protection of biodiversity and sustainable use of ecosystem services, and in mitigating climate change. We used participatory backcasting, a solution-oriented form of scenario analysis, as a method to identify stakeholders' various views as to what constitutes a desirable future forest in Sweden. By involving key stakeholders, we wanted to explore how to broaden the scope of potential solutions to the controversial issue of forest futures by analyzing goals, measures and policy instruments in order to form a bridge between stakeholders' policy objectives, and the instruments and support tools they would like to use to implement those policies. Preferences for particular policy instruments varied considerably among the stakeholder groups. In line with the literature, our study confirms that policy instruments are not mere empty vessels, but represent particular policy ideas, objectives and outlooks, and can show how stakeholders want forests to be governed in the future.


Governance; Participatory backcasting; Ecosystem services; Policy instruments; Scenarios

Published in

Forest Policy and Economics
2020, Volume: 111, article number: 102051
Publisher: ELSEVIER