Major investment in sustainable forestry
The forest industry and the Swedish state research council Formas have signed an agreement regarding a new framework programme for Skogforsk (The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden) for the years 2017-2020. The investment comprises a total of SEK 356 million, and includes a continued focus on developing sustainable forestry and its benefit to society.
“This is a strategically positive decision for Södra, the largest, single stakeholder in Skogforsk. We have reached a consensus on the importance of developing productive and low-impact forest management. This will give us a better opportunity to realise Södra’s newly adopted and ambitious sustainability targets,” says Göran Örlander, Södra’s forestry strategist and Chairman of Skogforsk.
The agreement means that Swedish forestry and Formas will increase their investments compared to the current framework programme. The increase will be two-fold, with SEK 10 million a year for 2017 and 2018, and then an additional SEK 6 million a year for 2019 and 2020.
“We are delighted to have signed a new agreement with Formas. It will guarantee continued, applied research and innovation for sustainable Swedish forestry that will benefit society. It will also capitalise on Skogforsk’s ability to quickly convert research results into practical use,” says Charlotte Bengtsson, CEO of Skogforsk.
High scientific quality and a solid understanding of forestry needs remain an important prerequisite to ensure a quick application of new results, according to the agreement.
“This type of co-financing between us, as a research funding body, and forest owners is important to enable us to guarantee a long-term supply of knowledge within an industry that is crucial for Sweden,” says Ingrid Peterson, Director General of the state research council Formas.
During the period, Skogforsk will develop refined, forest reproductive material for the future climate. Other tasks that will be prioritised are the need for raw materials, various types of forest management, effective and low-impact operative systems, the possibilities of digitisation, value chains and raw material usage, which will make a growing bioeconomy possible. In addition to this, the new agreement implies an increased investment in research and communication relating to the benefits of the forest and forestry management for a sustainable society.