Green forests policies: a comparative assessment of outcomes and trade-offs across Fenno-Scandinavia

GreenPole stands for “Green forests policies: a comparative assessment of outcomes and trade-offs across Fenno-Scandinavia”. The GreenPole project focuses on forest policies and compares the governance approaches across Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark over the last 20 years.

The focus lies on assessing the effectiveness of past and present policy mixes that affect forest management and thus the quantity and quality of Nordic forests. In particular, the project will evaluate policy outcomes in terms of synergies and trade-offs across forest productivity, biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and additional societal demands such as recreational values or water filtration capacities.

The project will employ a novel mixed-method approach that integrates various disciplines from political science, forest business management, climate science, environmental sciences, and ecology. In particular, the policy evaluations will make use of the latest quantitative methods for causal inference, state-of-the-art qualitative methods to integrate expert knowledge, ecological modelling to integrate interaction effects of climate and biodiversity, and life-cycle assessments to track carbon along the value chain of forest products.

This interdisciplinary, mixed-method approach can be called an integrated policy assessment. As such, it does not only contribute to the development of knowledge within each discipline but essentially advances a comprehensive understanding of socio-ecological forest systems. By conducting the integrated policy assessment from a comparative perspective and identifying particularly effective governance approaches, the GreenPole project will identify empirically founded lessons and formulate non-prescriptive policy advice.

The project will thereby provide an empirical evidence base for mutual learning for sustainable forest management in the Nordic countries with a consideration of global value chains. By exploring potential future pathways along scenarios for climate change and governance approaches, the GreenPole project will develop and disseminate visions for the transition of nordic forest systems towards a green and inclusive economy.