Värdetrakter are described as landscapes with particularly high ecological values. They are a tool for planning and partnership in the forest landscape, introduced by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

The Agency describes värdetrakter (high-value forest landscapes) as a landscape with particularly high ecological values. Värdetrakter are used for strategic conservation planning and partnership within a green infrastructure, formal protection of forests and sustainable forestry.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency leads the work on reviewing värdetrakter, and has tasked the county administrative boards with designating and demarcating värdetrakter. To date, approximately 6 million hectares in Sweden have been designated as värdetrakter. SCA has partnered with the county administrative boards in this work, which is part of implementing a national strategy for the formal protection of forests and developing action plans for green infrastructure.

SCA and värdetrakter

Eighteen percent of SCA’s land, or 364,000 hectares, has been identified as värdetrakter. Since värdetrakter have been defined based on the proportion of formally or voluntarily protected forest, the proportion of voluntarily protected forest is thus higher there. Data concerning the borders of värdetrakter are missing for Norrbotten County, however.

SCA shares the opinion of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency that it is not the entire värdetrakter that should be protected, but that it should serve as a basis for prioritizing work on, for example, encouraging biodiversity, protection of valuable forests and conducting various conservation efforts where they are of greatest benefit.

This is what The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency says about värdetrakter:


High-value landscape – A tool for planning and cooperation in forest land

- High-value forest landscapes are an important basis for planning. It is in these landscapes that we should implement actions – both protection and management – for biodiversity. In large parts of these landscapes, land use can normally continue but with extra consideration of the natural environment. The idea is not to protect all the high-value landscapes, but to prioritise these areas for different biodiversity initiatives, says Claes Svedlindh, Nature department head at the Environmental Protection Agency.

High-value forest landscapes have long been demarcated in all counties, but protective efforts have progressed differently. They are defined on the basis of the presence of valuable forests, including protected forests and inventories of valuable forests such as the key habitat inventory.

- There is plenty of valuable forest that needs to be preserved for the future, and in this respect we all need to help each other – forest owners, government agencies and non-profits, concludes Svedlindh.


Source: Swedish Environmental Protection Agencys website

Read more on The Swedish Environmental Protection Agencys website