Forest policy and planning

Last changed: 08 January 2024
An iPad with a forest programme. Photo.

Our research ranges from planning for forest estates and landscapes to national and international forest policies. We conduct research on a large number of topics such as advisory services, landscape perspective in forest planning, participatory processes and equality in the forest sector, and societal transitions.

Forest policy science is a social science discipline that strives to solve today's complex problems in utilising and protecting forests. We are interested in developing functional solutions that lead to better forest governance and management. We often collaborate with forest sector actors, such as governmental authorities and forest owners' associations.

The applied focus encourages multidisciplinary perspectives, e.g. many of our researchers work across forest policy and planning, and we welcome wider collaborations among a variety of disciplines.

Improving forest policy instruments

Our geographical focus is on Sweden and on other countries within the Baltic Sea region. We have carried out several comparative analyses and thereby gathered a unique regional expertise. Much emphasis is placed on the improvement of forest policy instruments, e.g.  better participatory processes and more owner-oriented forestry advice in Sweden; or reduced overregulation in countries with a socialist past.

We also apply a systems perspective on several scales, e.g. by investigating innovations and sustainable business models for fast-growing hardwoods throughout the value chain. Gender, gender equality and equal opportunities in the forestry sector constitute another example of an important research topic. We often use qualitative methods to deepen the insights into the investigated phenomena.

Technical and social aspects

Somewhat simplified, research in forest planning can be divided into two domains:

  1. technical aspects
  2. sociological aspects.

We have researchers specializing in technical issues, e.g. development of management models at stand and landscape level, including the simulation of various ecosystem services.

However, greater focus is on the sociological aspects, such as new methods in forest planning for better consideration of owner’s needs, application of the landscape perspective in forest management plans, and critical analyses of implementing green and blue infrastructure at local and regional levels.