Responsibly managing European Boreal Forests - a case study from Sweden
By Caroline Jacobsson, Wed, 04/09/2013 - 07:37
Boreal forests are important for the economy and the quality of life in an ecologically challenging environment, and the responsible management of these forests has benefits for birds and people. BirdLife Europe, along with its Partners, is active in these forests and is working with other stakeholders to ensure a better future for wildlife and for the people who live and work there. One of the key actions is the cooperation with the Alliance for Beverages Cartons and the Environment (ACE), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - an independent membership organization which promotes responsible forest management through certain standards - and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). SLU leads research on the national FSC forest standards and uses Sweden as a case study since FSC certification has a strong position in the country, with almost 11 million hectares of forest land certified. ACE, BirdLife Europe and the FSC financed and contributed to this research with their experience and by bringing together a diversified range of European forest stakeholders, ranging from NGOs to industry. The research concluded that the last round of FSC negotiations in 2010 resulted in a revised national standard for forest management. The new standard includes more specific terrestrial indicators attributed to forest composition, structure and function. It also states that in the previous standard – set in 1998 – fire was the only indicator explicitly dealing with ecosystem functions, while in the new standard there are three, with two additional indicators linked to protective functions. Other environmental targets include burning a proportion of areas (5%) to be harvested, and to achieve a minimum stand volume (5-10 %) of those trees which lose their leaves seasonally. Moreover, this cooperation continued beyond this research by maintaining interactive channels of communication and exchanging knowledge. Many points of this exchange are presented in a new leaflet regarding the responsible management of boreal forests which respects biodiversity requirements. Download the new brochure! Responsibly managing European boreal forests: the benefits for birds and society For more information: please contact Dr. Peri Kourakli, Forest Task Force Coordinator at BirdLife Europe.