The King attends the Bioeconomy Forum

On Wednesday 10 April, The King attended the Bioeconomy Forum during Forest Industry Week at Münchenbryggeriet in Stockholm.

At an introductory seminar, during which Minister for Enterprise Ibrahim Baylan gave an opening speech, representatives from politics and industry discussed how the EU elections and Brexit could affect the Swedish forest industry.

Writers Kerstin Ekman and Jens Liljestrand spoke about the latter's book on Vilhelm Moberg and the significance of the forest for Moberg's writing.

The King then gave a speech and presented awards to five recipients.

In his speech, The King said:

"The forest also affects us on a deeper level. It is part of our nation's history, our traditions and our culture. […] Yes, if there is such a thing as a Swedish soul of the people, I would go as far as to say that the forest occupies a large place within it."

The King speaks at the Bioeconomy Forum.

The King speaks at the Bioeconomy Forum. Photo: Sara Friberg/The Royal Court of Sweden

The prize-giving ceremony

For more than 50 years, the Count Carl Bernadotte Forestry Prize has been presented to an individual who has carried out outstanding services for forestry, combining science and practice. This year, the prize was awarded to writer Kerstin Ekman for her works highlighting the cultural aspects of forests.

Guldkvistar are awarded to people who have made valuable contributions to forestry in Sweden. This year's winners are:

  • CEO of Burapha Martin Forsén, for his work to introduce sustainable forestry on deforested land in Laos.
  • Docent Johanna Witzell from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, for her work to reduce the effects of damage to forests.
  • Dr Urban Emanuelsson from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences' Biodiversity Centre and Kristianstad University, for his work to spread knowledge about rural development and environmental care. He works for biological diversity, focusing on mankind in the spirit of the ILO Convention.

The Gunnar Sundblad Research Foundation's Skills Development Prize has been awarded since 2007, and promotes the development of the Swedish pulp and paper industry towards new and improved products and services that stand up in the face of increasingly tough competition.

This year, the prize was awarded to Per-Olof Syrén from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Science for Life Laboratory in Stockholm for his introduction of the new research field of polymer retrobiosynthesis, a unique approach for producing biopolymers from forest by-products.

Forest Industry Week

Forest Industry Week is a forum at which the forest industry and stakeholders from within society can come together to discuss current issues relating to forestry.

The forum was established 150 years ago to provide insights and inspiration, and to ensure the development of a vital forest industry. As part of Forest Industry Week, the Swedish Forest Industries Federation arranges the annual Bioeconomy Forum.