“It is important to find the right balance between protection and production”
Can you describe the importance of forests in your country (meaning economically and socially)?
The Danish forests have many different functions and meet many social needs. The forests deliver wood to industry and energy supplies, but contain at the same time great natural values and offer outdoor experiences to the population.
The Danish forest area covers about 625,000 ha and accounts for over 14% of the country’s total area. For a number of years, the forest area has been rising.
Private owners and companies own 70% of the forest area, 4% is owned by foundations and 24% is owned by the state or other public institutions.
What’s the relationship between preserving and managing forest ecosystem services and having a forest with positive economic (meaning a productive business) and social impacts?
The vast majority of the small forests are part of an agricultural property and the forests are often too small and unprofitable to form an independent business area for the property. However, wood production from the smaller forests plays a significant role as many of the owners join together in larger units with shared administration and thus seek to reduce the size disadvantages.
It is continuously discussed how to halt the loss of biodiversity in Denmark. Since Denmark originally was a forest country, many of the threatened species are connected to forests. Researchers recommend designating untouched forest or other forest where biodiversity has first priority.
It has been politically agreed that 3 300 hectares of private forest shall be appointed for biodiversity purposes, but that it must be on a voluntary basis and that the forest owner will be compensated. The challenge is to find a way to motivate the forest owner and find the most optimal price for the ecosystem service the forest provides.
In your opinion, are we close to the transition from a fossil-based economy towards a bioeconomy that is based on the entire spectrum of forest ecosystem services? If not, what do you think is still missing?
At the same time, it is important to find the right balance between protection and production in order to secure the potential for forests to participate in the transition from a fossil-based society to a bio economy.
Imagining yourself at the end of SINCERE project, in 2021, describe what were the best results SINCERE had in your country? And what about in Europe?
We hope that SINCERE can generate good examples and knowledge about these important topics.