Biodiversity and modern forestry: the concept of biodiversity and its meaning within Norwegian forestry management
This article deals with biodiversity and modern forestry in Norway. There are c.40,000 species in Norway, of which approximately two-thirds are found in forests. Due to the methods used in modern forestry, many species are threatened. Forest ecosystems are affected negatively by habitat fragmentation, clear-cutting, timber-roads that form barriers to species, and the growing of trees in stands. The concept of biodiversity is relatively new, and has not been fully taken into account by forest owners and their organizations in accordance with the obligations in the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity. This article shows that the level of understanding of the concept of biodiversity declines from that of the nature management authorities and environmental organizations, through the forest owners' organizations, down to that of the forest owners, who have the most restricted understanding of the concept. This 'knowledge gap' has led to disagreement over how to manage and protect boreal forests in Norway. The nature management authorities regard the protected areas as too small, while the forest owners and the forest owners' organizations consider them too large. The different groups emphasize different values when it comes to threats against biodiversity and strategies for conservation.
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