Barents Forest Forum 2021


Barents Forest Forum (20-21st October 2021) was organized in cooperation between Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Norway, and the county of Västerbotten. The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, NIBIO assisted in preparations of the digital event.

The role of forests in a circular bioeconomy and the role and prospects of forests in climate adaptation in the Barents region were the main topics of the Forum. Among the invited speakers were Ms. Ine Eriksen Soreide, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway and Chair of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council;ms. Olaug Vervik Bollestad, Minister of Agriculture and Food of Norway; Ms. Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Govenor of Vasterbotten, Chair of the Barents Regional Council; Michael Mann, EU Special Envoy for the Arctic, and Marc Palahi, Director of European Forest Institute and coordinator for SMI Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA), as well as other regional representatives, experts, and NGOs.

Konstantin Mikhailov, the leading scientist of the Northern Research Institute of Forestry, made a presentation Biotechnologies for Processing Wood Residues in the Russian North-Western Region on the first day of the Barents Forest Forum. In his speech, he reflected the importance of the development of the forest bioeconomy, showed the role of the northern forests in economic development, in ensuring social stability and environmental security. The urgency of special attitudes towards nature in the Arctic zone and the importance of Russian state support for the economic development of this territory were noted. Konstantin Mikhailov reflected the achievements of domestic and foreign scientists in attracting attention to the conservation of northern forests, noted the importance of international cooperation between scientists and business, emphasized the emergence of a synergistic effect in the region in the development and implementation of international forest projects.

The second day of the Forestry Forum was dedicated to climate change, forest disturbances and adaptation strategies in the Barents Region. The position of the Russian Federation on this issue was presented by Vladimir Dmitriev, Head of Department of Science and International Cooperation of the Federal Forestry Agency of the Russian Federation, making a presentation on "Climate Change and Forests Impacts and Adaptation need". A distinctive feature of the Barents Forest Forum program was the idea of the role of man in changing climatic conditions, his interaction with forest ecosystems, carried out in the reports and discussions. Almost every speaker at the Forum associated progressive changes in the future with the need to transfer knowledge and skills to young people, promote the importance of forests for the younger generation, and actively involve young people in forestry.

The formal handover of the Chairmanship in the forestry sector in the Barents Region from Norway to Finland for 2022-2023 took place at the end of the Barents Forest Forum.