The Swedish policy framework for Forest Ecosystem Services : a study of integration of objectives, policy instruments and local actor’s knowledge about policies and policy objectives
Abstract: Paper 1 There is a trend towards intensification of forest use in many European countries, fuelled by an increased demand for forest products and services, driven by the global population, income growth and an increasing per capita consumption of forest products and forest ecosystem services, and politically promoted by a shift towards a bio-based economy. Based on the assumption that decisions on forest management relate to synergies—e.g. using forest residues for bioenergy and climate mitigation—synergies should be identified and promoted. Most countries have national legislations to safeguard the provision of forest ecosystem services. However, it is unclear to how legislations for different ecosystem services are integrated. The aim of this study is to investigate how Swedish policy objectives and regulatory frameworks regarding climate, energy, nature conservation and forest policy are integrated, and if environmental aspects are prioritized. A qualitative thematic analysis of Swedish policy objectives and the regulatory framework was performed, guided by theories on policy integration and environmental policy integration. Policy is traced from the national to the local forest management level, where synergies and trade-offs in achieving objectives are analysed interdisciplinarily. There are several conflicting objectives between the policy areas which could hinder goal achievement on a national level. The results indicate that only nature conservation policies achieve both a high level of integration and strong environmental policy integration.
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