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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Trilemma of Nordic-Baltic Forestry-How to Implement UN Sustainable Development Goals

Hogbom, Lars; Abbas, Dalia; Armolaitis, Kestutis; Baders, Endijs; Futter, Martyn; Jansons, Aris; Jogiste, Kalev; Lazdins, Andis; Lukmine, Diana; Mustonen, Mika; Oistad, Knut; Poska, Anneli; Rautio, Pasi; Svensson, Johan; Vodde, Floor; Varnagiryte-Kabasinskiene, Ivta; Weslien, Jan; Wilhelmsson, Lars; Zute, Daiga


Forests are the dominant land cover in Nordic-Baltic countries, and forestry, the management of forests for improved ecosystem-service (ES) delivery, is an important contributor to sustainability. Forests and forestry support multiple United Nations Sustainability Goals (UN SDGs) and a number of EU policies, and can address conflicting environmental goals. Forests provide multiple ecosystem services and natural solutions, including wood and fibre production, food, clear and clean water and air, animal and plant habitats, soil formation, aesthetics, and cultural and social services. Carbon sequestered by growing trees is a key factor in the envisaged transition from a fossil-based to a biobased economy. Here, we highlight the possibilities of forest-based solutions to mitigate current and emerging societal challenges. We discuss forestry effects on forest ecosystems, focusing on the optimisation of ES delivery and the fulfilment of UN SDGs while counteracting unwanted effects. In particular, we highlight the trilemma of (i) increasing wood production to substitute raw fossil materials, (ii) increasing forest carbon storage capacity, and (iii) improving forest biodiversity and other ES delivery.


United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; ecosystem services; forest; forestry; management practices; European Green Deal

Published in

2021, Volume: 13, number: 10, article number: 5643
Publisher: MDPI

      SLU Authors

          Sustainable Development Goals

          SDG13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
          SDG12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
          SDG15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

          UKÄ Subject classification

          Forest Science
          Environmental Management

          Publication identifier


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