Swedish forestry policy has two equally important objectives: the production objective and the environment objective. The Forestry Act is the main section of law affecting forestry policy, although other acts, such as the Swedish Environmental Code and the Cultural Heritage Act, can also affect forestry.

Photo: Stefan Örtenblad/Johnér

Policy objective

The production objective aims at using forests and forestry lands efficiently and responsibly so that they produce high, sustainable yields. The approach of forestry production is to provide forest owners with the freedom and responsibility to take their own decisions on how material produced by their forests is used.

Environmental objective

The environmental objective aims at preserving the productive capacity of forestry lands and the biological diversity and genetic variation of forests. Nature conservation efforts are formulated via the Riksdag's environmental quality objective 'Living Forests', the Convention on Biological Diversity and EU directives in the area.

The Swedish Forest Agency is the government agency responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented in forestry activities.

Sweden in the world

Sweden is working for globally sustainable forestry through comprehensive international cooperation on forestry issues. Sweden is working actively in international negotiations at global and regional level and has signed some 25 conventions that affect forests and forestry. Sweden is represented in a large number of processes dealing with issues that affect forests and, in various ways, Sweden, including the following:

  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD);
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);
  • United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF);
  • International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO);
  • FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO);
  • Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE);
  • Europe and North Asian Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (ENA FLEG);
  • FAO/ECE Timber Committee; and
  • Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM).

There is no common forestry policy within the EU. Despite this, Swedish forestry resources are affected by other policy areas that are completely or partially determined at EU level. The Swedish Riksdag and Government safeguard the country's right to continue to take forestry policy decisions and work to ensure that even in the future, EU action in the area of forestry should be limited and that production aid that could disturb the market is opposed. Sweden has a deregulated forestry policy, which in principle means that support is only provided to environment and heritage protection measures, the scope of which extends beyond the requirements established by law.

In areas where there is European added value in cooperating on forestry issues, including preventing the spread of pests such as the pinewood nematode or forest-related research, Sweden works for the exchange of information and experience and well-considered joint measures. The starting point is that the proposals presented are to be preceded by good coordination between the responsible Directorate-General and based on thorough impact assessments.