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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

For NordGen Forest, the year 2023 was again a year filled with fruitful meetings on site in several Nordic countries. For example, a successful forest conference was arranged in Ringsted, Denmark.

Thematic Day, Conference and Seminar

The first NordGen Forest event in 2023 was a thematic day organized on 13 April in Mógilsá, Iceland. About 50 persons participated during the day of presentations. A lesson learned from the discussions was that nursery owners, planters and the forestry service need more communication.  
The annual NordGen Forest conference was arranged on 4-5 September 2023 in Ringsted, Denmark. About 100 persons participated in the conference that was titled "Forests of the Future”. During the first day, 10 lecturers gave presentations covering many important topics, for example tree species selection in times of climate change and the potential for new species. During the second day of the conference, the participants were offered to take part in forest excursions at Bregentved Estates to see, among other things, stands of oak and sycamore (Acer pseudoplantanus) as well as at the beech forests around Sorø Academy.
All meetings in the NordGen Forest Regeneration Council and in the NordGen Forest Working Group on Genetic Resources were arranged as planned. In August, the Working Group gathered in Southern Norway for meetings, forest excursions and a seminar held at the County governors office in Arendal, Norway. 


Scholarships and Statistics Report

A total of 24 applications (8 from Sweden, 6 from Finland, 2 from Iceland, 2 from Denmark, 1 from N0rway and 5 from countries outside the Nordic region) were received by the deadline on 15 February 2023. Six of them were granted, three out of the approved applications were Finnish, two were Swedish and one from Denmark. The grants (in total NOK 100.000) were given to travels and field work, supporting activities in several Nordic countries. During 2023, the grants were for example used to organize a webinar, attend the IBFRA conference in Helsinki and to make a research visit to Umeå Plant Science Center.
In 2023, NordGen also published the report Statistics: Forest Seeds and Plants in the Nordic Region – Version 2023. The publication compiles statistics and information on forest seed and plant material from the entire Nordic region provided by NordGen Forest Regeneration Council. The report is the second edition in an ongoing series in which the first was published in 2021. The new edition is updated with statistics from the years 2020 and 2021, but also contains information on more forest tree species and is expanded with additional statistics categories.
A group of people standing in a broadleaf forest.
Close-up of a spruce plant, several persons is partly visible in the background.
A person talking during a presentation, a photo of forest is projected in the background.
Photos from the conference in Ringsted. Erik Dahl Kjær, professor at the University of Copenhagen, during his presenation at the conference.
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 consists of two bodies: The NordGen Forest Regeneration Council, which meets twice a year and organize  our conferences and thematic days, and the NordGen Forest Working Group on Genetic Resources, which meets once a year. 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.
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.