Vindelälven-Juhttatahkka UNESCO Biosphere reserve, Sweden
Designated as a UNESCO site in 2019, the Vindelälven-Juhttátahkka Biosphere Reserve in Sweden is known for its far-reaching views, forest and alpine landscapes and strong cultural traditions. It is home to parts of the Vindelfjällen nature reserve, one of the largest in Europe, and to a large number of natural habitats. The north boreal and subalpine forests provide ecosystem and sociocultural services to the Swedish and Sami cultural communities. Forestry and reindeer husbandry are some of the activities practised in the biosphere reserve, where SUPERB’s Swedish demo sites are located.
About the demo
With SUPERB, we aim to meet multiple land-use demands and address sustainability challenges in the biosphere reserve.
We will focus on increasing biodiversity in tree monoculture plantations and create climate-adapted multifunctional forests for the future while maintaining tree growth and carbon storage.
The Scandinavian Mountain foothills represent primary and intact forest landscapes that form core areas for functional forest green infrastructure, while large forest landscapes in the inland and coastal areas have been transformed by systematic clear-cut forestry.
Promoting natural regeneration
Enhancing forest connectivity
Enhancing structural diversity
Type of restoration:
We will restore boreal to subalpine forest stands in their landscape context for biodiversity, carbon storage, diversification and multiple-use strategies.
How the demo is now:
We have a majority of extensively transformed forest stands as well as semi-natural forest stands. Large areas have been subject to systematic clearcutting and replaced by tree monoculture plantations.
With SUPERB, we will foster natural forest configuration and forest connectivity on a landscape scale, improving conditions for biodiversity and indigenous Sami community reindeer husbandry. In addition, we will promote integrated riparian forests and river restoration, establish natural forest edges and restore open and semi-open land covers to promote cultural and biodiversity attributes in forest-dominated landscapes. Our landscape approach will address governance challenges linked to the multiple ownership of land, including public, private forest company and non-industrial private ownership in large- to small-scale gradients.
Restoration upscaling potential (within and beyond SUPERB):
National upscaling will take place in cooperation with ongoing projects hosted by the Swedish Forest Agency. Generic upscaling can be done via biosphere reserves as model areas for sustainable development, further to national, European (EuroMAB) and global (UNESCO) arenas.