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Intensive forestry in Sweden: stakeholders' evaluation of benefits and risk

Lidskog R, Sundqvist G, Kall AS, Sandin P, Larsson S


There is growing consensus about the need to develop sustainable use of forest resources, but no consensus about how to interpret and implement this goal. Political institutions, governmental agencies, forest companies, and environmental organizations have partly different views on what sustainable forestry means and what strategies to use to achieve it. Not least, the climate change issue has put higher and partly new demands on forests, both as providers of biomass and as carbon sinks, which may be in conflict with other services of the forest's ecosystem. This paper analyses how different Swedish stakeholders evaluate the possibilities for intensive forestry, that is, to increase the production of woody biomass through increased use of fertilizers, improved genetic material, the introduction of exotic tree species, and the use of fast-growing deciduous tree species. The analysis shows that the pros and cons are evaluated differently, with some stakeholders assessing intensive forestry as a radical break from the current goal of sustainable forestry and others viewing it as according with it. It is concluded that this conflict should be understood as concerning not competing knowledge claims, but competing frames - schemes of interpretation through which the complexity of reality is reduced. This means that the solution is not to be found in improved knowledge but in increased awareness that the involved frames are the source of the conflict.


intensive forestry; framing; Swedish Forestry Model; biodiversity; climate change; adaptive management

Publicerad i

Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences
2013, Volym: 10, nummer: 3-4, sidor: 145-160

      SLU författare

    • Associerade SLU-program

      SLU Future Forests

      Globala målen

      SDG12 Hållbar konsumtion och produktion
      SDG13 Bekämpa klimatförändringarna

      UKÄ forskningsämne


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