The aim is to make better use of Sweden’s overall knowledge in forestry by facilitating a knowledge exchange between researchers, industry, associations, state bodies and agencies on forestry, climate and poverty issues. For this reason, the research network will be linked to a reference group with representatives of all these players.
Sida will give the project SEK 4.2 million in funding over two years and has so far tasked the researchers to analyse three areas:

Follow-up and analysis of how REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) should be designed so as to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and benefit poor people.

Development of criteria for forest production which are sustainable in the long term, socio-economically responsible and climate-effective.

Review and analysis of existing global instruments for carbon storage in forest ecosystems.

Forest resources play a central role in climate and poverty problems, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the consequences of the greenhouse effect. Global deforestation, which takes place primarily in the tropics, contributes 20-25% of the world’s climate-impacting greenhouse gas emissions. The World Bank estimates 1.6 billion people to be wholly or partially dependent on forest resources for their daily sustenance. In 2013, the Kyoto Protocol, which regulates international financing mechanisms to reduce climatic impact will be replaced with new regulations which will presumably include a number of forestry provisions. The objective is for the new climate agreement to be written during the UN‚Äôs global Meeting of the Parties in Copenhagen in December 2009.

“The discussion on how to include more forestry provisions has raised difficult methodological issues as well as justified concern that incorrectly designed new regulations would be to the detriment of poor people who depend on forest products. This initiative aims to establish a Swedish knowledge hub relating to issues affecting forests, climate and combating poverty. It will ensure that Sida and other Swedish agencies have access to relevant knowledge so that Sweden will be able to employ forest measures effectively and attain climatic and poverty goals,” says Gunnar K√∂hlin, Chairman of the expert network‚Äôs management group.

The management group consists of researchers from five faculties at the University of Gothenburg as well as researchers from Chalmers, Linköping University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, plus the Sida-financed Forest Initiative at the Swedish Forestry Association.

The expert network is being presented at the Stockholm Conference Center (Norra Latin) on 16th December 2008 at a seminar arranged by Forest Initiative.

For more information:
Gunnar Köhlin, University of Gothenburg, Environmental Economics Unit, Chairman of the Steering Group: gunnar.kohlin@economics.gu.se, +46 31-786 4426
Anders Ekbom, University of Gothenburg, Environmental Economics Unit, Project Manager, anders.ekbom@economics.gu.se, +46 31-786 48 17.
Ida Hellmark, University of Gothenburg, Environmental Economics Unit, Project Assistant, ida.hellmark@economics.gu.se, +46 31-786 43 37

Follow-up and analysis of the Poverty Environment Partnership’s work on how REDD should be designed so as to benefit poor people:
Robin Biddulph, University of Gothenburg, Department of Human and Economic Geography, robin.biddulph@geography.gu.se, +46 31-786 13 97
Susanne von Walter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedbio, susanne.von.walter@cbm.slu.se, +46 18-67 25 75

Development of criteria for forest production which long-term sustainable, socio-economically responsible and climate-effective:
Göran Wallin, University of Gothenburg, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, goran.wallin@dpes.gu.se, +46 31-786 2620

Review and analysis of existing global instruments and storage of carbon in forest ecosystems:
Madelene Ostwald, Linköping University, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, madelene.ostwald@liu.se, +46 708-51 93 11

Initiated by:
The Sida-funded Forest Initiative at Föreningen Skogen

University of Gothenburg
Departments of Earth Sciences, Human and Economic Geography, Plant and Environmental Sciences, Economics, School of Global Studies

Chalmers
Division of Physical Resource Theory

Linköping University
Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Swedbio

BY: Karin Backteman
031-786 25 95