The cluster of collaborating stakeholders across multiple levels and sectors in Bergslagen began with the creation of the Foundation Säfsen Forests in 1999. This initiative went regional in 2006-2007 and evolved into the NGO Sustainable Bergslagen in 2009. Its approach is based on landscape, participation, collaboration and learning towards sustainability (Figure 4), and builds on ideas from the concepts of Model Forest and Long Term Socio-Economic and Ecological Research (LTSER).
By joining the international networks for Model and LTSER, Sustainable Bergslagen brings experiences from other places to Bergslagen, and makes the region more visible. This provides opportunity and synergies for collaboration both within Bergslagen, and with other regions in Sweden and abroad. A key challenge is to develop integrated territorial planning for sustainability. This applies to themes like rural development, commuting, forestry, hydropower, establishment of wind power stations, cultural heritage, nature conservation, and wildlife management. In addition there is a new interest in mining due to an increased global demand for metals and minerals. To make the most out of the anticipated new wave of mining, without the historical drawbacks such as environmental debts and loss of social capital, requires collaboration, like in the past when Bergslagen was the core in Sweden’s economy.
Board members of Sustainable Bergslagen
Per Angelstam, SLU Forest-Landscape-Society, chairman
Photographs by Per Angelstam
Illustrations by Thommy Gustavsson and Jan Nilsson