Country: Sweden
Location: South-central
Year joined IMFN: 2006
Area of Model Forest: 5 929 428 ha


Contact information
Mr. Robert Axelsson
General Manager
Bergslagen Model Forest 
CO/ Ludvika Municipality
771 82 Ludvika
Fax. +46 240 866 87
Tel. +46 70 35 894 68
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Mr. Lennart Myhrman
Chairman of the board
Bergslagen Model Forest/Foundation Säfsen Forests
CO/ Ludvika Municipality
771 82 Ludvika
Fax. +46 240 866 87
Tel. +46 70 5586 561
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Forest and resource profile

The Berslagen area contains an important transition zone between the northern boreal forest, or taiga, and the temperate climate, or nemoral, zone. It is probably the sharpest bio-geographical transition zone in Sweden and is important because of the very different conditions for human settlement. More or less all land is fertile and the area has a moderate precipitation. The population in the area is about 1.75 million people.
The land base is composed of:
  • Forests (64%)
  • Lakes, rivers and streams (10%)
  • Wetlands (7%)
  • Mountains (1%)
  • Farmland (11%)
  • Urban areas (1%)
  • Protected areas (6%) 
Economic profile
The area has a long history of landscape use. Iron ore production was an early important source of income. It began as a small scale activity and later grew to be the main iron production area in the world. To feed the industry, forest resources were over-used for coal production. Today, there is no iron ore production in Bergslagen and the forest industry has slowed. Rural inhabitants are opting to move to the cities in search of employment.
Why a Model Forest?
The relative economic value of forests and forest products has decreased and continues to decrease. Forest companies operating in Sweden are facing pressure from international competition, which in turn puts greater pressure on forest resources. Work to reach ecologically sustainable forest management has been intensive, but as yet unobtainable. In recent years,  social issues have been gaining ground as priority areas of work-balancing the economy, ecology and social aspects of forestry with the aim of achieving SFM is the goal. Through the IMFN, access to knowledge and expertise in other countries appealed to the Bergslagen Model Forest partnership. The Model Forest as a platform or testing ground for innovative forest management techniques also inspired their adoption of the approach.
Partners (under development)
  • Academia (17%)
  • Government (33%)
  • Industry (50%)

Strategic goals

  • Rural economic development (i.e. eco-tourism) to stem urbanization and increase local incomes
  • Improved land management planning
  • Education, capacity- and awareness-building
  • Sustainable watershed management
  • Networking and knowledge exchange with other Model Forests in the IMFN
  • Conflict mitigation
  • Implementation of SFM in Bergslagen and globally
  • Conservation, restoration and maintenance of biodiversity in land and water ecosystems
  • Bridging the gap between forest research and application