Abstract: The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is an ambitious piece of legislation designed to protect and improve water quality throughout Europe. However, forests are only mentioned once in the WFD, and forestry is not mentioned at all, despite its potential implications for streams, rivers and lakes. Here we present a transdisciplinary commentary on the WFD and its implications for forests and forestry in Sweden. This commentary has been prepared by forestry stakeholders, biophysical and social scientists. While we were cognizant of a large body of discipline-specific research, there are very few inter- or trans-disciplinary commentaries which link academic and stakeholder perspectives on the WFD. We had originally felt that there would be little commonality in our concerns. However, we found significant areas of agreement. Our key areas of concern about the implications of the WFD for forestry in Sweden included: (i) concerns about what is meant by good ecological status and how it is assessed; (ii) a perceived lack of clarity in the legal framework; (iii) an inadequate environmental impact assessment process; and (iv) uncertainties about appropriate programs of measures for improving water quality. We were also concerned that ecosystem services provided by forests and the positive effects of forestry on water quality are inadequately recognized in the WFD.
Keywords: Water Framework Directive; Sweden; buffer; Environmental Impact Assessment; metrics; transdisciplinary workshop
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Futter, M.N.; Keskitalo, E.C.H.; Ellison, D.; Pettersson, M.; Strom, A.; Andersson, E.; Nordin, J.; Löfgren, S.; Bishop, K.; Laudon, H. Forests, Forestry and the Water Framework Directive in Sweden: A Trans-Disciplinary Commentary. Forests 2011, 2, 261-282.
Futter MN, Keskitalo ECH, Ellison D, Pettersson M, Strom A, Andersson E, Nordin J, Löfgren S, Bishop K, Laudon H. Forests, Forestry and the Water Framework Directive in Sweden: A Trans-Disciplinary Commentary. Forests. 2011; 2(1):261-282.
Futter, Martyn N.; Keskitalo, E. Carina H.; Ellison, David; Pettersson, Maria; Strom, Anna; Andersson, Elisabet; Nordin, Jessica; Löfgren, Stefan; Bishop, Kevin; Laudon, Hjalmar. 2011. "Forests, Forestry and the Water Framework Directive in Sweden: A Trans-Disciplinary Commentary." Forests 2, no. 1: 261-282.