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Report, 2002

Wood supply from Swedish forests managed according to the FSC-standard

Eriksson, Ljusk Ola; Imamovic, Dzemal; Petersson, Hans; Sallnäs, Ola; Ståhl, Göran


In 1998, the Swedish standard for forest certification according to FSC's principles and criteria was approved (Anon. 1998). During a short period following this approval, all major forest companies in Sweden adopted the standard and modified their management practices. The overall aim of the standard is to outline management principles that maintain the ecosystem productivity and biodiversity, secure local people's livelihood, and promote long-term valuable wood­ production. In particular, the standard comprises many detailed regulations regarding how forests should be managed. For example, 5 percent of forest areas should be set aside for free development or be managed to promote biological values, certain areas must be managed to promote deciduous forests, boundary zones to streams, lakes, and non-productive land should be left, as should also a certain minimum number of trees (10 ha-1) during harvesting operations (Anon. 1998). Compared to management practices of most companies before adoption of the FSC standard, the new management regimes imply lower levels of potential harvests. Some analyses have been made to quantify the effects on the harvesting levels of the new management (e.g., Lundstrom et al. 1997, Anon. 2000). In these studies, the range of harvesting reduction due to the FSC standard has been found to be in the order 10 to 20 percent. Similar results are presented by V erkaik and Nabuurs (2000) in a study of the consequences of adopting "nature-orientated" management in Scandinavian forests. It should be noted that in the latter study no attempts were made to follow the FSC standard specifically. The long-term sustainable harvesting levels in Sweden, before the adoption of the FSC criteria, have been assessed to be slightly more than 100 mill. m3 per year (Anon. 2000). The annual cutting levels during the last decade have been about 70-75 mill. m3 per year. There are several reasons for the relatively large difference between the two figures. Firstly, many forests in Sweden are still comparably young, and thus not mature for final felling. Secondly, we are here dealing with different concepts. The level around 100 mill. m3 is what, from a biological point of view, would be possible to sustainably take out from the forests -it is reflecting a potential. In this calculation no considerations to restrictions of technical, social or economic kind are taken. The factual figure of 70-75 mill. m3 is reflecting the real supply of wood, given the economic setting and restrictions on forestry of different kinds. In most of the above studies of the effect of FSC' s standard on the harvesting levels, the modelling approach has been to let the management activities be controlled by a set of rules formulated to mimic certain forest management practices. These rules are followed, even if a deeper analysis (which is typically not made) for some forestry activities would imply negative results from an economical point of view. Together this implies that these studies are dealing with the "potential" discussed above. A different approach is to put forestry into an economical framework, letting the activities largely be controlled by economical considerations. The result of such an analysis most likely would be a different round-wood supply, leading to lower harvesting levels as compared to the levels that correspond to the biological potential. It can be argued that this kind of analysis in a better way would be able to assess the actual consequences on the harvesting levels of new demands on forestry, e.g. those caused by FSC certification. The objective of this study was to analyse the implications of the FSC standard on the supply of round-wood in Sweden. This is done with respect to both the effects on current supply relationships and the long-term harvest level. Two different assumptions about the rigor of the FSC-standard are analysed. These two scenarios are contrasted to a modified version of the environmental restrictions of the recent SKA study (Anon. 2000) which is used as a baseline case. The constraints are less restrictive than in the SKA study and are intended to reflect forest management under the current Forestry Act, though with no adherence to the particular stipulations of the FSC standard. Furthermore, an extreme case with no environmental considerations is included in order to assess the maximum economic potential. The different levels of environmental objectives form the basis for four scenarios. The scenarios differ with respect to the amount area that can be used for production and how much is allocated for modified management and into reserves. Except for the distribution of the forest area on permissible management, the economic and other conditions remain the same. The analysis was performed with a method for modelling the forest and the forest manager decisions developed by SaUnas and Eriksson (1989). The method derives economically optimal harvesting regimes for all types of forests given certain assumptions regarding prices and costs.


forestry; forestry production; forest management; certification

Published in

Arbetsrapport / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för skoglig resurshushållning
Publisher: Institutionen för skoglig resurshushållning, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet