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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Future forests: Perceptions and strategies of key actors

Beland Lindahl Karin, Westholm Erik


Abstract This paper investigates how key actors perceive the future of the forest sector: how they position themselves in relation to climate, energy and demography related trends. Actors’ perceptions of future challenges and opportunities influence their choice of strategy and action. Actors’ relative capacity to realise their visions, in turn, shape future forest use. Frame analysis is used to explore selected actor’s perceptions and strategies and the existence of major divisions, i.e. frame conflicts. Empirically, the study is based on the case of Sweden as a typical boreal forest producing region. Actors’ perceptions of the challenges facing the forest sector diverge widely. Yet, most actors see the future of the forest sector as linked to broader issues of climate mitigation and energy transition. These issues trigger fundamental discussions about social change and the role of forests in future society. A major division separates actors who perceive biomass supply as unlimited, or at least not constraining, and those who stress scarcity and re-distribution of resources. This difference, or frame conflict, is reflected in actors’ forest related strategies and may fuel future forest debates and conflicts


Climate change; energy transition; forest sector; frame analysis; futures studies; perceptions; strategies; Sweden

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2012, Volume: 27, number: 2, pages: 154-163
Publisher: Taylor & Francis

    SLU Authors

    • Associated SLU-program

      SLU Future Forests

      Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG13 Climate action

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
      Forest Science
      Renewable Bioenergy Research

      Publication Identifiers


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