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NordGen Forest Conference 2014

Conference with a view to the future

Stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations will require large‐scale transformations in human societies, from the way we produce and consume energy to land use, including forestry. This was one of the messages from Anders Strømman at the NordGen Forest Conference 2014.

NordGen Conference_Strømman_Lars Sandved Dalen

Anders Strømman from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology introduced the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report to the audience. Photo: Lars Sandved Dalen/Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute

Strømman (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) highlighted the outcome of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report in his talk, introducing the overall topic of the conference; Need for seed - Nordic forests in coming decades.

Scenarios from integrated models suggest the possibility of very different landscapes from today, Strømman stated. The most cost-effective mitigation options in forestry are afforestation, sustainable forest management and reducing deforestation, with large differences in their relative importance across regions. And bioenergy with carbon capture and storage is important in many low emission scenarios.

Greenhouse gas balance
Still we need to be aware, since land use change associated with bioenergy expansion, afforestation or deforestation may also affect greenhouse gas balances, albedo and other climate drivers in several ways. Three working group reports have already been released from the IPCC Fifth Assessment report. The last report, which is a synthesis report for policymakers, will be finalized on 31 October 2014.

The presentation on the IPCC was followed by presentations on conservation of forest genetic resources, how to track climate change, the preparedness for climate change in forestry in the Nordic region, how to deal with it and how to make sure we have the sufficient seed supply. Fifty participants from all the Nordic countries engaged in an active discussion on preparedness for climate change in the conference, which was held on 8-9 September in Son, Norway.

NordGen Conference_gruppebilde_Lars Sandved Dalen

Photo: Lars Sandved Dalen/Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute

The conference was rounded off with an excursion to Hoxmark in Ås, Norway, where field trials on different aspects of climate change adaptation in forest trees were presented.

NordGen survey on climate change
Prior to the conference NordGen Forest conducted a survey among stakeholders within forestry in the Nordic countries. The survey suggests that climate change issues are clearly recognized as important among the major actors of forestry. But it has not yet influenced strategic documents and guidelines correspondingly. The reasons for this may be an information deficit regarding climate change, and in particularly a lack of overarching views on measures for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The results from the survey were presented by Kjersti Bakkebø Fjellstad.

NordGen Forest is a Nordic forum for discussing and promoting forest regeneration, plants, seeds and genetic resources. They organise conferences and thematic days for researchers, forest managers and practitioners, award scholarships and initiate research, for the benefit of Nordic forests. In cooperation with relevant partners, NordGen Forest is prepared to take a role in further communication and dissemination of climate change relevant material.

All the presentations from the conference can be found here.

Text: Kjersti Bakkebø Fjellstad/NordGen Forest