Strengthening forest policy research

From the 13th to 15th October the 1st Nordic Network Conference on Forest Policy Science was held in Uppsala. More than 50 participants mainly from the Nordic countries have joined the conference. Sessions with presentations and workshops comprised an impressive spectrum of issues ranging from the local to the international level. Social scientific studies on forest policy issues have increasingly evolved within the past decade at several scientific organizations. So far the scientists dealing with these issues have only been loosely coupled. The aim of the organizers of the conference, a team from SLU and the University of Eastern Finland was to strengthen the network in order to establish strong research area. This aim is in line with the increasing awareness of funding organizations like FORMAS and Sida recognizing the essential need for the social perspective to identify sustainable solutions for complex ecosystems like forests. The conference chair, Daniela Kleinschmit, forest policy researcher at the Department of Forest Products stated that “The conference has exceeded all our expectations. It has shown common approaches and synergies of complementary results. But it helped as well to identify challenges and further needs – in regards to urgent research topics but as well in regards to collaboration”. A second conference is already planned for 2012 in Finland.

Daniela Kleinschmit []