Well-functioning forest ecosystems are essential
Forests provide society with valuable renewable raw material and therefore play a central role in sustainable development. At the same time, forests are home to plants and animals and provide society with critical ecosystem services. They stabilize our climate, clean the air we breathe, and are essential in the water cycle. 

In the Swedish forest sector, environmental issues were brought forward with the forest policy bill that was adopted by the Swedish parliament in 1993. With that, the Swedish forest political objective to preserve valuable ecological and social values was given equal weight as the objective of an efficient and sustained timber production. Since then, the basis for nature conservation in the Swedish forestry model is that so called general consideration to natural- and cultural environments shall be taken on all productive forest land. Where natural- or cultural values are significantly high, forest land may be formally protected in the form of for example national parks, nature reserves or, for smaller areas, habitat protection or so called nature conservation agreements. In addition, many forest owners choose to set aside forest areas from timber production on a voluntary basis, without economic compensation by the state.

Many Swedish forest owners certify their forestry
In addition to environmental consideration stipulated by the law, many forest owners and forest companies choose to certify their forestry voluntarily. In Sweden, two systems for forest certification are applied: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC). The overall aim of both FSC and PEFC is to promote a sustainable and responsible forestry and certify forestry against standards with defined requirements on forest management, environmental- as well as social considerations. Both schemes build on third party auditing to ensure that requirements are met. 

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SEE MOVIE: Sustainable forestry - the Swedish model

The film explains how Swedish forestry is governed to be sustainable. Copyright: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Swedish Forest Agency – on forests and environment in Sweden


Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - FSC forest certification


Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) - PEFC forest certification