Table of Contents

  • This report provides a review of the state of the art of social indicators in forestry, particularly concerning nature-based recreation and tourism in North European countries. The work was carried out by a project group financed by SNS and EFINORD in 2012–2013. The member countries or regions were Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Northern Germany, Lithuania, Northwest Russia, Norway, Scotland and Sweden. The North-European networking project invited scientists and other experts to exchange ideas about social indicators for forestry. The common interest was to discuss how to develop social indicators, and monitor changes to social benefits, particularly recreation and tourism, in forestry and forest use. The expert group identified a need to develop social indicators, which should be effective, focused, and useful for many purposes in the forest sector but also in other sectors of natural resources in all European countries. It is timely to enhance standardization and harmonization of social indicators for monitoring and management of sustainable forestry and forest use, and for sustainable nature-based recreation and tourism. In all countries, there is a challenge to develop monitoring systems to produce inventory data for statistics that are required in a way that provides social indicators that are comparable across Europe.

  • Sustainable development is now established as a long-term goal for most natural resources related policies. Within the forestry sector, sustainability has been a core principle since the early days of scientific enquiry, although its definition has evolved from a narrow focus on sustained yield to a broader understanding of the diverse benefits forests provide to society. At the first Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE, now branded as “FOREST EUROPE”, which is used in this report), held in Helsinki in 1993, sustainable forest management was defined as “the stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfil, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems” (Resolution H1… 1993). The FOREST EUROPE process involves 45 European countries, and it has a counterpart in the Montréal Process in which countries such as United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are involved (The Montréal Process 2013). The need to establish a global policy for sustainable use and management of forest resources is expressed also by the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 2013).

  • This section considers the relevant existing indicators at EU and international level, with a focus on the FOREST EUROPE pan-European process for monitoring sustainable forest management. We discuss related issues, including the increased use of the Ecosystem Services framework to assess environmental change, and indicators relating to other sectors including health and wellbeing and tourism.

  • The aim of this report is to offer relevant information for further development of social indicators of forestry (with particular focus on naturebased recreation and tourism) and their monitoring in a North European context. The descriptions of status of indicators and monitoring in specific countries are compiled in Appendix 1 in this report, while this chapter provides a summary of those reports.

  • This report presents the results of the SOSIN project (Social indicators in forestry – further development in the North European context). The aim of the project was to gather scientists and other experts from Northern Europe to discuss how to proceed with the challenge of social indicators and monitoring of changes to social benefits, particularly recreation and tourism, in the context of forestry and forest use. The task was to produce a review report of the state of art in North European countries.

  • Research/monitoring of Danish forest recreation started in reality in 1975 with the Forest and Folk project, which conducted extensive surveys of the forest recreation activities and preferences of the general population. – A research project aimed at producing a better basis for decisions in the field of forest recreation. The surveys are published in four parts: Parts I, II, III and IV of Forest Recreation in Denmark (Koch 1978, Koch 1980, Koch 1984, Koch and Jensen 1988).

  • 1. This report analyses the data and comments provided by countries for the “intensity of use” component of FOREST EUROPE (Forest Europe) Indicator 6.10 (“Area of forest and other wooded land where public has right of access for recreational purposes and indication of intensity of use)”. Its main sources are the “State of Europe’s Forests” (SOEF) reports 2011 and 2007, and the individual country reports.