The Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs visit to Canada

Boreal collaboration was an issue

The Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs Mr Erlandsson visited Canada in October, 2011. The Minister was especially keen to visit Canada this year given that 2011 was the International Year of Forests.

Canada is investing heavily

Boreal collaboration was an issue that was discussed during the visit and efforts to collaborate further were made. Wood can be used for a range of different products and Canada is investing heavily in these new developments. Products include such different things as clothing, bioactive papers, bulletproof vests, food additives, airplane wings, tyres, bioplastics and bioenergy systems. Swedish companies and researchers are working along the same lines.

Sweden and Canada have many similarities

Sweden and Canada have many similarities but there are also dissimilarities. About three quarters of the forest area in Sweden is privately owned whilst in Canada the opposite is the case – around 90 % is publically owned. In addition, Canada’s provinces and territories have their own laws and regulations. This has major implications for how forests are managed. An interesting concept is the establishment of so-called Model Forests, also adopted in Sweden. The Minister visited the Limerick Forest in Ontario, which is part of the International Model Forest Network. The main objective is to create new jobs related to forests and to help economic development, especially in rural areas.

Further collaboration

Minister Erlandsson was extremely satisfied with the trip, which will result in further collaboration. A delegation from Canada will soon visit Sweden and on 28th May SIFI will arrange a seminar to discuss developments in Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy.

Text: Marcus Öhman, Senior Administrative Officer, Ministry for Rural Affairs

Photo: Anna-Karin Nyman