Towards a reformed forest policy

The process of deliberating and adopting a Swedish National Forest Program in the emerging bioeconomy



Since the 1990s National Forest Programs (NFPs) have been adopted in more than 100 countries in order to provide permanent national forums for deliberation on forest policy by the state, private companies and NGOs. Previous research has shown that NFPs seldom result in changes in forest management. In Sweden, one of Europe’s largest forest nations with persistent conflicts between stakeholders related to forest management, the government has recognized the need for Swedish authorities to commence a deliberative NFP process. The process should foster long-lasting collaboration among the conflicting stakeholders while generating effective, legitimate and evidence-based suggestions for the transition towards a bio-based, low-carbon economy.

The aim of this project is to examine to what extent and under which circumstances an NFP can provide a new arena for deliberation which

  • produces evidence-based and legitimate forest policies and
  • enhances effective policy implementation in the emerging bioeconomy.

We exploit a unique opportunity to study a forest policy process from its inception to the end in a country with persistent conflicts over forestry. We will suggest improvements to current governance tools as well as create general knowledge for policy-makers who seek collaboration in the forest sector. This project will provide such vital knowledge through a qualitative analysis, including interviews, observations and document analysis of the Swedish NFP process.

Thomas Ranius, Professor, SLU, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet

Research area / geographic area

Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies Environmental Science Environmental Studies Nature & the environment Sweden

Contract ID


Project time

2017 — 2021


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