Barents Forest Sector (WGBFS)

The forest sector is an important part of the economic, social and environmental development in the Barents region. The Working Group on Barents Forest Sector (WGBFS) (previously The Barents Forest Sector Network, BFSN) is a Working Group under the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) established in May 2000.

The aim of the WGBFS is to promote sustainable management and utilization of forest resources and ecosystem services in line with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests as well as the Paris Agreement, to follow and timely contribute to BEAC activities, to advocate a balanced and coherent view on forests as well as on products and services they provide. Activities of the WGBFS facilitate knowledge transfer and sharing on scientific results and best practices.


BFSN meeting in Umeå, June 2018

The scope of the working group is, to follow and timely contribute to initiatives that are related to forests and the forest sector in the Barents region, to share relevant information and, when needed, to launch and implement activities with a view to promoting the priority areas of WGBFS. The key principle of WGBFS is to facilitate collaboration in flexible and cost-efficient manner. Participants are expected to actively be engaged in the work of the WGBFS.

The WGBFS strives to increase the interaction with Barents working groups and strengthen cooperation, when appropriate and relevant to the WGBFS priority areas of cooperation, with other organizations, forums and platforms. By this, the WGBFS aims to find synergies as well as to strengthen the cooperation between regional actors in the member countries. The WGBFS will also contribute to raise the profile of the Barents region forestry at the international level. 

Finland holds the chairmanship for both the Barents Euro-Arctic Council and WFBFS for 2021-2023. The chairmanship priorities will be presented on this page as soon as they are available.  


    Barents Forest Forum 

    Barents Forest Forum is a cooperation platform for stakeholders in the forest sector situated in the Barents region. Due to the Covid pandemic, the Barents Forest Forum in 2021 was organized as an online event on 20-21 October 2021. Information and updates from the Forum are published on the separate event page of the forum. A news article about the event (in Norwegian) is published on the pages of the Norwegian Government.

    Links to recordings from the sessions can be found by following these links: 20 October | 21 October  

    The Barents Forest Sector Network inititated work on a report on Forest's role in the Bioeconomy in Northern Europe at the Barents Forest Forum in Umeå in 2019. A web-version of the report is now available here. Link to the pdf file.

    See information on previous conferences:


    WGBFS Contacts



    Sanna Paanukoski (Chair) 
    Senior Specialist, Preparedness Secretary
    Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
    Tel: +358 295162449

    Pasi Poikonen
    Research Scientist
    Natural Resources Institute Finland
    Tel: +358 295325188

    Jyrki Haataja
    Senior Expert on Regional Development
    Finnish Forest Centre
    Tel: +358 44 7100 851


    Anne Delphin 
    Senior Adviser
    Ministry of Agriculture and Food
    Tel: +47 22 24 91 61 

    Knut Øistad 
    Senior Advisor - Division of Forest and Forest Resources
    Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO)
    Tel: +47 90537767


    Mr. Vladimir Dmitriev (Country Representative)
    Head of the Department of Science and Advanced Development
    Federal Forestry Agency

    Ms. Maria Sokolenko  (Focal Point)
    Deputy Head of analytical unit, Department of Protocol
    FSBI “Roslesinforg”
    Tel: +7 916 609 53 89

    Ms. Natalia Demidova (Focal Point)
    Deputy Director
    Northern Research Institute of Forestry 
    Tel: +7 8182 612679


    Lars Andersson
    Senior Adviser / International Coordinator
    Swedish Forest Agency
    Tel. +46 54555721

    Kristina Nilson
    Senior Adviser 
    Swedish Forest Agency
    Tel. +46 95253954

    Rosario Garcia Gil
    Vice Dean for Internationalization 
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
    Tel: +46 730962240

    Camilla Widmark 
    Associate professor 
    Department of Forest Economics 
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences 
    Tel: +46 70 2929018 



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