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Preserving our planet: the vital role of forests

29.06.24 | Nyhed

Secretary General Karen Ellemann presents the Nordic contribution at the IUFRO World Congress 2024 in front of 4000 international participants. 

Henrik Karmehag

Secretary General Karen Ellemann presents the Nordic Contribution at the IUFRO World Congress 2024 in front of 4000 international participants. 

Forests are vital for our planet, providing clean air, homes for wildlife and resources we rely on. As researchers and policymakers from all over the world meet in Stockholm to discuss the future of our forests, one thing is certain, we will have to collaborate across sectors and borders, to successfully manage forest systems in a sustainable way towards 2050.

In the Nordic region, there are longstanding traditions of sustainable forestry and over 100.000 people are employed in the forestry sector. Sustainable forest management is based on strong scientific foundation coming from academic institutions, and democratic processes, involving scientists, institutions, NGOs, businesses, and governments but also small-scale forest owners, indigenous people and young people’s organizations. 

Henrik Karmehag

The Nordic and Baltic countries are already collaborating extensively on forest health, including protection against pests and diseases, climate change adaptation, and expansion of new biomaterials. The development of common strategies to adapt forestry to climate change, enable a balanced, holistic view of forest systems.

Karen Ellemann

The IUFRO Congress, bringing together 4271 participants from 102 countries, provides a real opportunity for the scientific community to meet with decision makers and together lay  a common vision. The output of the 26th IUFRO World Congress, The Stockholm Statement : Forest and Society towards 2050, is a call for resolute and equitable actions, as well as far-sighted decisions. It is the groundwork for ensuring the survival of our forest ecosystems and human wellbeing, with one common vision.

The IUFRO Congress underscores the global importance of forests, trees, and forest-based products and services for contributing to a transition to a sustainable and positive future while pointing out that they are not a panacea and that their future is at risk if the world fails to take decisive action in other sectors and fields of human activity.  

Stockholm Statement excerpt

Forest stakeholders from the Nordic and Baltic countries made a strong contribution to the Stockholm Statement. All built on sustainability, knowledge, and collaboration, and underscoring forests’ crucial roles in sustaining life on earth and driving economic growth, while accentuating the importance of decoupling it from fossil fuel dependency.

The five key messages of the Nordic Contribution are directed at researchers and policymakers: 

1. A Holistic view. Bold future decisions come from a balanced, holistic view of forest systems.

2. Participation. Involve people on equal terms,through transparent and democratic processes, for better decisions in the forest sector.

3. Collaboration. Collaboration between researchers, institutions, businesses, NGOs and governments are necessary to guide policy action.

4. Attracting talent. Create dialogue with forest stakeholders to improve innovation and develop additional competences for forest professionals. 

5. Financing. New business models and financial reforms are needed for managing natural resources in a more sustainable way. 

The Nordic region is to become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. This goal is only achievable if we ensure the good health of our forests through sustainable forestry and the use of innovative and technological practices. We must recognize the wide role forests have, both in terms of climate and biodiversity conservation, but also as contributors of sustainable materials. 

The next IUFRO Congress takes place in Kenya in 2029.


Discussions betweeen Angeline Musili, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to the Kingdom of Sweden, Karen Ellemann, Finnish Minister Sari Essayah, State Secretary Dan Ericsson and moderator Johan L. Kuylenstierna. 

Henrik Karmehag

Secretary Genaral of the Nordic Council of Ministers meets with youth delegates from around the world. 


The stage of SNS (Nordic Forest Research) was a meeting place for diverse forest stakeholders.