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Policy brief from NordGen Forest

Is Nordic forestry prepared for climate change?

Raising awareness about climate change is one of the main challenges for the Nordic co-operation on forests. This is further confirmed in the findings of a recent NordGen Forest survey, now published as a policy brief from NordGen.


A NordGen Forest policy brief has been produced based on a recent climate change survey among major actors in the Nordic forest sector.

NordGen Forest policy brief: Is Nordic forestry prepared for climate change?

Climate change is recognised as one of the most important challenges for both society and many ecosystems. Although forest ecosystems are generally robust, there is a concern that the pace of climate change will exceed the adaptability of many forest trees.

We have asked the major actors in the forest sector in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden about their awareness of climate change and the need for information about the effect of climate change. The respondents mostly agreed that climate change would affect future forestry; that it may lead to more disturbances and at the same time potentially increase forest growth. However, although most respondents agreed that climate change will affect forestry, this has not influenced strategic documents and guidelines to the same extent.

The outcome of the survey is now published as a policy brief and delivered to the Nordic ministers at their meeting in Åbo on 28-29 June 2016.

Policy considerations

  • It should be a clear responsibility of the Nordic forest sector to include measures to prepare for climate change into its strategic documents.
  • There is a need for unambiguous information about the effects of climate change.
  • The key to a forest adapted to future climates is to regenerate with material that is well suited for the next century.
  • with the increased stress that may be imposed on forests as climate changes, it is important to keep focus on sustainability and the conservation of forest ecosystems and genetic Resources.
  • Raising awareness about climate change has been highlighted as one of the main challenges for Nordic co-operation on forests.

Particularly important for the Nordic forest institutions is the clearly expressed need for translation of knowledge and the niche that NordGen Forest, SNS and EFINORD could fill, by facilitating research and information exchange between researchers and foresters. Network activities, like Nordic conferences, thematic days and facilitation of research should be maintained and strengthened.

NordGen Forest Working Group

The policy brief has been developed by the NordGen Forest Working Group on Genetic Resources, together with the secretariat of NordGen Forest.