East Vättern Scarp Landscape – Broadleaf success

Lövsuccé, ”Broadleaf success”, is a project lead by the County Administrative Board in Jönköping in collaboration with the Swedish Forestry Board, the Federation of Swedish Farmers, the largest forest-owner association in Sweden (Södra), the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the biosphere reserve organization, with financial support from the WWF. The objective of the project, which takes place 2015-2016, is to break the monoculture of the landscape by creating segments of green infrastructure consisting of broad leaf trees in different stages of succession. Hence, the project name Lövsuccé – Broadleaf Success.

The total broadleaf cover in the biosphere reserve today is analyzed, and future scenarios are made. Forest owners are informed about management methods that benefit broadleaf production, and are motivated to invest in broadleaf or mixed forests. Opportunities for economic compensation for forest owners who invest in broadleaf trees (if it turns out that the financial outcome is less than investing in coniferous trees) are also investigated.

The biosphere organization believes that the collaborative way this project is implemented and framed is a result of a 20-year long journey from conflict to collaboration between nature conservationists, land owners and public authorities. The conflict concerned conservation versus production in forest stands in the biosphere reserve. The biodiversity conservation group criticized the public authorities for carrying out poor and inadequate inventories of land potentially suited for protection. The land owners, in turn, feared that the identification of valuable areas on their land would increase the “risk” of nature reserves and land-use restrictions.

In 1998, after years of deep conflict, a collaborative project group with representatives from the different interest groups was established. Within the project group, they could gradually develop a mutual understanding for each other’s viewpoints. This collaborative process resulted in the biosphere reserve designation, and paved the way for the Broadleaf Success project. According to the biosphere reserve organization, collaboration and cooperation in projects where stakeholders might have different interests is more of a given today than before.

Today, the interest organizations are represented on the biosphere reserve board, and in the steering group of the Broadleaf Success project. The public authorities in the area have a new, more inclusive and transparent approach to farmers and forest owners and a broader perspective on nature conservation. The concerned authorities collaborate across sectors, and are represented on the biosphere reserve board. This was not the case 20 years ago.

The biosphere reserve’s collaborative processes have helped the public authorities to run their projects in a more inclusive and smooth manner, resulting in increased legitimacy and win-win solutions. Both production (the forest owners’ livelihood) and biodiversity conservation (indispensable for the production of ecosystems services), are taken into consideration in this project which contributes to several of the 2030 Agenda SDGs.