Co-creation of planning and advice for diversified forests

Last changed: 11 December 2023
Two men having a dialogue in the forest. Photo.

How can forest planning and advisory services be developed to support more diversified family forestry? This is what the project aims to investigate in close collaboration between SLU, Umeå University, the forest owners' association Södra, and the Swedish Forest Agency.

The demand for diversified forestry in Sweden is widely acknowledged, but its realisation is lagging behind, highlighting the need for substantive changes in implementation. Forest owners have a lot of freedom in how they can manage their forest, but their decisions are influenced by social and political context. Legal requirements and financial incentives have traditionally played a minor role, while information and advice are important instruments in steering owners’ behaviour. We therefore need to understand better how private and state advisory services and forest planning can be developed to support more diversified forestry.

The project will: (i) investigate how forest owners acquire and create knowledge about alternative management methods; (ii) examine ways to make systemic improvements in forest advisory services to promote diversified forest management; and (iii) pilot enhanced procedures in forest planning that better match owners’ goals and promote landscape perspective. The project is strongly oriented to practical application and involves knowledge co-creation between science and practice.

Co-Creator will study the owner's perspective through a survey of a representative sample of private forest owners in Sweden. Public and private organizations providing forest advisory services and forest owner networks are examined via interviews, case studies, participatory processes and action research. Based on a number of forest properties, we will conduct interviews with planners and quantify most important ecosystem services. Co-Creator outputs, such as prototype forest management plans and training modules for forest advisors and planners, will be tested during the duration of the project. This will contribute to anchoring improved planning and advice at relevant organisations, such as the forest owner association Södra and the Swedish Forestry Agency, thereby ensuring lasting effects of Co-Creator.


Project title: Co-creating advisory services and planning for diversified management in Swedish family forestry, Co-Creator

Collaborative partners: Skogsägarförening Södra, Skogsstyrelsen, skogsägarnätverket Spillkråkan

The project is expected to be completed: 2027-11-30

Financier: Formas