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Stories of desire and grief in Swedish forests

Climate change and its impacts on biodiversity challenges the ways in which we envision future forests. We experience emotions of both desire and grief as a reaction to how the changing climate affects what we want the forest to be and what we fear to lose. Woodworlds studies stories about Swedish forests with the aim to explore the tensions that are inherent in how we envision what the forest is and should be.

Many stories about the forest exist, from children’s stories and mythological tales to visions of forests as the feedstock for renewable goods such as plastic, fuels and chemicals. In some of these stories the forests primary role is to help us build a sustainable society by contributing to carbon sequestration and providing renewable materials. In other stories the forest is seen as a mystical place and something to awe and respect with old trees and red-listed species. What we desire and fear to lose is particularly visible in the stories we tell about the future forest. Woodworlds explore these stories through interdisciplinary engagement, particularly looking at their potential in generating political, economic and social responses to the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss in the Swedish forests. 

Woodworlds is a project within BECC (Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate) It involves the researchers Alexandra Nikoleirs, Johannes Stripple, Anna Maria Jönsson and Paul Miller.

Read more about Woodworlds