Presented on Thursday April 15. at the ministerial round table meeting - 8th Ministerial Conference - Forest Europe

Excellencies, chairperson and conference organizersIn

In Norway, forest management contributes to a sustainable economic development. Our forests provides a range of important ecosystem services.

The annual increment and the growing stock of our forests have increased threefold since our first national forest inventory was established in 1919.
Our forest policy aims at increased value creation and employment. We aim at reduced climate emissions. More effective and sustainable ways to use our renewable biomass resources.

The forest- and wood industries is a potential driver for a green shift of our economy.

Wood for buildings and structures contributes to welfare, culture and climate in Norway. We are proud of our wooden architecture.
Joint efforts have led to an increase in advanced use of wood in larger buildings, showcasing the possibilities.

It is possible to increase the harvesting and the value creation from our forests. A large increase in demand for wood will require more effective and circular use of forest resources.

Forest owners and managers have a special role in demonstrating sustainable forest management. Good communication should be two-way in order to establish understanding of its role.

To broaden the understanding, it is important to promote knowledge, a skilled workforce, science policy dialogue as well as cross sectoral collaboration. This will further develop sustainable forest management.
To reach climate targets we must maintain and increase the carbon stocks in forests. As well as supplying wood and increasing the carbon stocks in wood products. Wood products can also displace fossil emissions from products and energy production.

Policy action is needed for enhancing climate effect from forests. In Norway this includes support for planting, afforestation and fertilizing stands on selected areas. My government will also introduce regulations to avoid harvesting of young stands.

Norway has a strict protection target of 10 percent of the forest area to safeguard critically endangered species, habitats and forest ecosystems. Still, most of the biodiversity is found on the other 90 percent.

We expect a higher demand for forest-based products. Our policy is to strengthen environmental considerations where forestry activities increase. More knowledge about environmental values and forestry practices will play an important role.

We will contribute to the follow-up of this conference and support international processes for climate, nature and a sustainable development.

Thank you.