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Knowledge Centre – NordGen Forest

Nordic forests provide wood and bioenergy, protection against wind and erosion, biodiversity and is a carbon dioxide sink. The trees planted today will grow for decades to come but climate change can hit our forests hard, and we must deal with the emergence of new pests and diseases that haven’t existed in the Nordic region before. Within the forest industry there is a need for strong, resilient forests in the future and an important key to this resilience is genetic diversity. Since different trees carry different genes, chances are that some of them can resist the new threats. For example, the ashdieback disease is today threatening the Nordic ashes. But by identifying particular trees that carry resistance genes, the species could be saved. NordGen Forest is working to exchange knowledge about these kind of issues in the Nordic forest community. 

Key Activities 2021

2021 was as the previous year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. All plans for meetings on site had to be held as digital events. During the year, NordGen Forest extended the experience in the digital arena and published a statistics report giving an overview of the use of seeds and seedlings in the Nordic region.  

Thematic Day, Anniversary and Seminar

The first NordGen Forest event in 2021, thematic day “New Technology in Forest Plant Production”, was organized on 24 March. Just as in 2020, the thematic day was held as a video conference due to the covid-19 pandemic. Four lecturers were invited from SLU, the company ARBOS and the foundation Det norske Skogfrøverk. The presentations evolved around cuttings propagation and plant production using the method somatic embryogenesis. About 70 people joined the thematic day. 
The NordGen Forest 50 years anniversary conference (originally to be held in 2020) was planned for 2021 but the conference on site had to be postponed once again due to COVID-19. About 90 persons participated during NordGen Forest’s digital conference which was arranged during 22 to 23 September 2021. Climate changes – and the major challenges in forestry – went like a red thread through the conference program gathering 15 lecturers. Presentations by young researchers were also given special attention in the conference program. 
All meetings in the NordGen Forest Regeneration Council and in the NordGen Forest Working Group on Genetic Resources were held in a digital form. The Working Group meeting in November was held back-to-back with a seminar on forest genetic resources. 


Access to statistics is needed to understand the development in forestry. In October 2021, NordGen Forest published the report Statistics: Forest Seeds and Plants in the Nordic Region. The report aims at giving an overview of the use of seeds and seedlings in the Nordic countries, with key statistics from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. This statistics report is the first in a series that is expected to be published in the coming years. 


NordGen Forest-SNS Scholarships

A total of 14 applications (6 male and 7 female and 1 NA) were received by the deadline on 15 February 2020. Eight of them were granted. The grants (in total NOK 100.000) were given to travels and field work, supporting activities in several Nordic countries. In 2021, a large part of the applications came from Iceland, five out of eight approved applications were Icelandic. 
Somatic embryogenic maturation_ Sofie Johansson.jpg
Photo of somatic embryogenic maturation. Photo: Sofie Johansson
NordGen Forest addresses conservation and sustainable use of forest genetic resources, by being a forum for researchers, practitioners and managers working on forest genetic resources, seeds, planting stock and regeneration. We facilitate flow of scientific information and knowhow between these groups.
NordGen Forest is focusing on knowledge exchange about conservation and sustainable use of forest genetic resources, forest seed and plant production and regeneration of forests. By disseminating knowledge and experience between the various actors and to the public, we aim to support better plant production and better regeneration methods of forest, as well as conservation of forest genetic resources. We conduct various types of projects and information activities.
NordGen Forest consists of two bodies: The NordGen Forest Regeneration Council, which meets twice a year and the NordGen Forest Working Group on Genetic Resources, which meets once a year. The main activities arranged by NordGen Forest are our conferences and thematic days. In cooperation with Nordic Forest Research (SNS), NordGen Forest also grants scholarships to enhance knowledge and competences in the area of seed, plants and forest regeneration.