Knut Øistad

Senior Adviser

(+47) 905 37 767
knut.oistad@nibio.no

Place
Ås H8

Visiting address
Høgskoleveien 8, 1433 Ås

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Abstract

Agricultural extension services are integral to technology adoption where they play a key role in delivering relevant agricultural information and technologies to farmers. In China, agricultural extension services are provided through experimentation, demonstration, training, and consulting. In Norway, agricultural extension is focused on collecting, developing, and coordinating agricultural knowledge to farmers. This chapter focuses on why agricultural extension is needed, how it is developed, and what services agricultural extension provides to its clients. It discusses experiences from China and Norway where agricultural extension has led to or is necessary for boosting agricultural productivity, increasing food security and safety, and improving the well-being of farmers.

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Abstract

To mitigate climate change, several European countries have launched policies to promote the development of a renewable resource-based bioeconomy. These bioeconomy strategies plan to use renewable biological resources, which will increase timber and biomass demands and will potentially conflict with multiple other ecosystem services provided by forests. In addition, these forest ecosystem services (FES) are also influenced by other, different, policy strategies, causing a potential mismatch in proposed management solutions for achieving the different policy goals. We evaluated how Norwegian forests can meet the projected wood and biomass demands from the international market for achieving mitigation targets and at the same time meet nationally determined targets for other FES. Using data from the Norwegian national forest inventory (NFI) we simulated the development of Norwegian forests under different management regimes and defined different forest policy scenarios, according to the most relevant forest policies in Norway: national forest policy (NFS), biodiversity policy (BIOS), and bioeconomy policy (BIES). Finally, through multi-objective optimization, we identified the combination of management regimes matching best with each policy scenario. The results for all scenarios indicated that Norway will be able to satisfy wood demands of up to 17 million m3 in 2093. However, the policy objectives for FES under each scenario caused substantial differences in terms of the management regimes selected. We observed that BIES and NFS resulted in very similar forest management programs in Norway, with a dominance of extensive management regimes. In BIOS there was an increase of set aside areas and continuous cover forestry, which made it more compatible with biodiversity indicators. We also found multiple synergies and trade-offs between the FES, likely influenced by the definition of the policy targets at the national scale.

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Abstract

Forests are the dominant land cover in Nordic–Baltic countries, and forestry, the management of forests for improved ecosystem-service (ES) delivery, is an important contributor to sustainability. Forests and forestry support multiple United Nations Sustainability Goals (UN SDGs) and a number of EU policies, and can address conflicting environmental goals. Forests provide multiple ecosystem services and natural solutions, including wood and fibre production, food, clear and clean water and air, animal and plant habitats, soil formation, aesthetics, and cultural and social services. Carbon sequestered by growing trees is a key factor in the envisaged transition from a fossil-based to a biobased economy. Here, we highlight the possibilities of forest-based solutions to mitigate current and emerging societal challenges. We discuss forestry effects on forest ecosystems, focusing on the optimisation of ES delivery and the fulfilment of UN SDGs while counteracting unwanted effects. In particular, we highlight the trilemma of (i) increasing wood production to substitute raw fossil materials, (ii) increasing forest carbon storage capacity, and (iii) improving forest biodiversity and other ES delivery.

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Abstract

Scenarios describe plausible and internally consistent views of the future. They can be used by scientists, policymakers and entrepreneurs to explore the challenges of global environmental change given an appropriate level of spatial and sectoral detail and systematic development. We followed a nine-step protocol to extend and enrich a set of global scenarios – the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs) – providing regional and sectoral detail for European agriculture and food systems using a one-to-one nesting participatory approach. The resulting five Eur-Agri-SSPs are titled (1) Agriculture on sustainable paths, (2) Agriculture on established paths, (3) Agriculture on separated paths, (4) Agriculture on unequal paths, and (5) Agriculture on high-tech paths. They describe alternative plausible qualitative evolutions of multiple drivers of particular importance and high uncertainty for European agriculture and food systems. The added value of the protocol-based storyline development process lies in the conceptual and methodological transparency and rigor; the stakeholder driven selection of the storyline elements; and consistency checks within and between the storylines. Compared to the global SSPs, the five Eur-Agri-SSPs provide rich thematic and regional details and are thus a solid basis for integrated assessments of agriculture and food systems and their response to future socio-economic and environmental changes.

Abstract

The forests in Nordic countries have been a source of food, products and welfare for both local communities and for the nations as long as there has been any settlement. More recently, the way the forest supports the climate has become more pronounced. However, humans now face major challenges due to climate change as well as societal and environmental challenges. Fundamental changes are needed to ensure future prosperity in the face of growing resource depletion, climate changes and environmental degradation. What has become clear is that fossil dependence must be overcome and be replaced with bio-based materials and innovations to support the more efficient use of resources — thus, creating a more bioeconomy-based society. This report describes the role of the forest in bioeconomy transformation and green innovation in the northern part of Europe — Finland, Norway and Sweden — and highlights the challenges facing forests in this emerging bioeconomy. These countries are also part of the Barents area, thus the northern part of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia. In summary, the report discusses several common features and lessons learned from these countries: • Forests are crucial for the development of sustainable bioeconomy in the Nordic countries in substituting fossil fuel-based materials and energy. Forest biomass has a large potential for developing new bio-based products. • Bioeconomy and circular economy transformation depend on both technical and social innovations together with societies adapting to a bio-based sustainable future, which emphasises the ecologic, economic, and social functions of forests. In policymaking and forest management, synergies need to be realised and trade-offs evaluated and addressed in forest management in general. • Bioeconomy transformation is driven by the development of forest value chains and innovations based on forest biomass, in which research and development go hand in hand with investments and policy regulations. • Consumers are a main driver of bioeconomy transformation replacing the demand of fossil-based materials with bio-based. • Choices, both in policy and forest management, have to be made to support the continuous provision of all forest ecosystem services. • The contributions of forest to bioeconomy are regional, national, as well as cross-country (e.g. Baltic, Barents or Nordic), and international (e.g. EU) and the forest’s contribution to bioeconomy has to be considered in relation to properties of the forest, sustainability, innovations, knowledge development, green investment structures as well as national policies.