About Future Forests

Last changed: 03 July 2023
Two men in a forest. Photo.

The Future Forests platform leads the interdisciplinary scientific development of forest governance and management science in Sweden. The platform started in 2009 as a in recognition that sustainable management of forest is a major societal challenge, where decision-makers must be able to merge scientific knowledge with differing perspectives on sustainable forest management.

Future Forests serves as an interdisciplinary hub for developing knowledge about forest use, in a collaboration between science and society.

Future Forests research builds on the principle that integrated knowledge deriving from a broad range of disciplines will be needed to seek effective solutions to complex forest governance and management problems that have no simple, or optimal solutions.

Researchers specialised in silviculture, ecology, biogeochemistry, forest policy and governance, sociology, history and history of ideas work side by side and in interaction with stakeholders to solve complex forest problems.

The Future Forests program has four main objectives:

  • Provide knowledge needed to enable an increased and sustainable provision of ecosystem services, i.e. tree biomass, biodiversity conservation, recreation, water resources, and climate change mitigation, from boreal forest landscapes in Sweden and elsewhere;
  • Develop models for science based decision support to resolve goal conflicts aggregating multiple use of forest landscapes;
  • Improve the capacity of the forest sector to adapt to global changes driven by climate change, the energy transition process and altered markets for forest goods and services;
  • Set up a framework for the discussion of the forest’s future in Sweden for the coming generation and make that discussion an inspiration for other countries.

Program Plans

Download the Program Plan for the second phase (2013-2016)

Download the Program Plan for the first phase (2009-2012)


SLU Future Forests is a forest research platform, a joint inititive between SLU (The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), Umeå University and Skogforsk (The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden). SLU serves as host.

Future Forests was initiated as a research program by Mistra (The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research) in 2009. In 2017, Future Forests transformed into a research platform and serves as one of SLU's four Future Platforms, the others being SLU Future Food, SLU Future One Health och SLU Urban Futures.