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Growing Trees for a Degrowth Society: An Approach to Switzerland's Forest Sector

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Forests are under immense stress globally. Economic growth is one reason for this: its impacts can lead to deforestation and put tremendous harvesting pressure on forests. In light of increasingly popular - and growth-based - bioeconomy strategies, the need for more wood is likely to accelerate. Degrowth, in contrast, rejects economic growth as the central economic principle, arguing that the material throughput of countries in the Global North must shrink to achieve global sustainability. Although the concept has gained importance, there have been no attempts to link degrowth with the forest sector. This article argues that degrowth principles are beneficial for basing the forest sector on sustainable grounds, while the degrowth movement also needs to define its relationship to the forest. Against this backdrop, this contribution sets the cornerstone by linking the Swiss forest sector to central degrowth principles, and discussing possible interrelations and mismatches. Finally, a future research agenda for degrowth and the forest sector is presented.

Keywords: Switzerland; degrowth; forest sector; sustainable forestry

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2022

This article was made available online on December 10, 2021 as a Fast Track article with title: "Growing Trees for a Degrowth Society: An Approach to Switzerland’s Forest Sector".

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2022) of 2.2. 5 Year Impact Factor: 2.5.
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