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Lindberg Hofsten

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Lindberg Hofsten

  1. 1. Henrik von Hofsten, Skogforsk & Magnus Lindberg, GS-union Successful collaboration between stakeholders
  2. 2. Who we are Henrik von Hofsten Forestry Research Institute of Sweden Skogforsk is the central research body for the Swedish forestry sector, and is financed jointly by the government and the members of the Institute. We focus on technical and methodological research throughout the whole forestry chain – including work environment Magnus Lindberg •The Swedish union of forestry, wood and graphical workers •I am the head of negotiations within the forestry sector 17,5 M. euro
  3. 3. The problem Pine weevil (Hylobius abietis) Eats from the bark of young seedlings •Up till now we have used prophylactic insecticides like synthetic pyrethroids and neonicotinoids •They are not known for cancer but can give strong allergic reactions. •They have strong effect on most insects (and aquatics)
  4. 4. The problem Pine weevil (Hylobius abietis) Eat from the bark of young seedlings •Common within the yellow area and certain years within the yellow-shaded area. •Affects about 140 million seedlings per year. •Or 80-100 M. Euro per year
  5. 5. First steps to success 1992 Identification of the problem with pesticides in regeneration 1993 Seminar with inventers and researchers to describe the problem 1994 Hopeful waiting for the problem to be solved 1998 Formation of the “Committee for Seedling Protection” 2016 Almost there…
  6. 6. The Committee for Seedling Protection Skogforsk (admin) University of Agricultural Sciences Swedish Chemicals Agency Swedish Forest Agency Skogforsk Skogforsk Forest companies Forest companies Chair. Forest companies Forest companies Swedish Forest nursery Association Union of forestry, wood and graphical workers
  7. 7. The funding ΣΣ ~ 6 million euro~ 6 million euro
  8. 8. What have we achieved? Protection by Barriers Protection by Coating Conniflex
  9. 9. The challenge of application
  10. 10. Conclusion 1992 Identification of the problem with pesticides in regeneration 1993 Seminar with inventers and researchers to describe the problem 1994 Hopeful waiting for the problem to be solved 1998 Formation of the “Committee for Seedling Protection” 2001 The first idea of Conniflex 2002 Patented 2005 Patent bought by Sweden's largest forest owner, Sveaskog 2010 First application equipment in full use 2015 Five equipment's in full use – 65-70 million seedlings Persistence and endurance is vital in a project like this!
  11. 11. Informational activities List of publications # Popular publications + 100 International publications 53 Doctoral thesis 6 Conference abstracts 8 Patents 3
  12. 12. Thank you Henrik von Hofsten, Skogforsk HeHo@Skogforsk.se Magnus Lindberg, GS-Union Magnus.Lindberg@GSfacket.se www.Skogforsk.se www.GSfacket.se www.Snytbagge.se

Editor's Notes

  • I’m Magnus Lindberg and I am an official for the Swedish trade union, I'm the head of negotiations in the Swedish forestry sector.
    I’m Henrik von Hofsten and am a researcher from The forestry research institute of Sweden. We do research and development within most areas of practical forestry including working methods, environmental impacts and work environment.
    Skogforsk is a research organization which is partially financed through the government and partially from the forest and forest industry. Around 45% of our funding is a set “framework” funding generally running over four years. The rest is various open funds and commissions that we apply for in competition with other research organizations.
  • The situation we will present today started in early 1990’ies. Up till then Swedish forestry had used various chemical insecticides to prevent Pine Weevils from eating the bark from freshly planted seedlings.
    The chemicals used are essentially the same that are used worldwide for insect prevention. The difference here is that humans, quite often migrant workers, have to handle the pre-treated seedlings one-by-one in summertime when protective clothing is inconvenient. As far as we know they are not known for cancer but well known for allergy. There has been reported a couple of occasions where workers have been really badly damaged with running eyes and noses as well as respiratory problems. There has also been reported some cases of irritated itching skin as well as eczema-like effects.
    Without insecticides mortality often reaches 80 % or more. With insecticides mortality is normally ¼ of that. And as you can see from the diagram damages often continues for 2-3 years after planting.
  • The Pine weevils are most common in the southern parts of Sweden but some years they can do quite substantial damage even further north. It has also been noted an increasing amount of damages up along the eastern coast.
    The total cost because of pine weevils have been estimated to be reaching 100 million euro per year, including costs for new seedlings and also costs for replanting etc.
  • In the beginning the problem was thought to be ”a piece of cake”. A large seminar was held with inventers and researchers where the problem was presented. The researchers promised to arrange yearly trials with new protection inventions to assist the development.
    Then we all sat back and waited for the solution
    All in all, more than 50 different protection devices, most in several variations, have been tested and less than a handful have proved “possibly useful”. Some even increased mortality compared to untreated seedlings.
    There have been two main obstacles.
    The pine weevils are more or less like rats. No matter what poison or protection you use there is always some that manages to survive or pass through, under or over any protection invented.
    The seedlings that we are supposed to protect are small, fragile and are easily killed accidentally.
    So after a couple of years it was evident that a stronger formation had to be set to really get things going. That’s where the Committee for Seedling Protection started.
  • The committee for Seedling Protection consists of a number of stakeholders with interest in the matter. From authorities as the Chemicals and forest agenesis to forestry researchers and the Union.
    Skogforsk, being well known and partially owned by the Swedish forestry, was given the secretariat and also administrates the finances. Skogforsk has also done some of the research.
    The university of Agricultural Sciences have done most of the research and their researchers finally found the solution.
    The other stakeholders position was to verify that progress was maid and in all possible ways assist the research job when needed. Mostly with various “in kind” contributions. One of the larger companies has also been chairman of the committee.
    It is important to stress here that from the very start, there has been no discussion about the goal for this committee. It was to find a non-chemical protection that is acceptable economically as well as environmentally by all stakeholders. Probably this is the one most important factor to success. If the committee had had to spend countless hours of discussing the goal rather than how to get there we would still only be half way.
    One or two of you might notice that there are no environmental stakeholders like FSC included in the committee. That’s because of two reasons.
    1. FSC was not yet “up and running” in Sweden at the time when the committee was set up.
    2. All forestry companies are members of the FSC and therefore it was decided that the environmental issues were handled indirectly by them.
  • Already in the beginning it was decided that around 320 000 euros per year, would have to be enough for this project over five years. The fund-raising was done by an agreement with all forest nurseries to pay 0.03 eurocent per insecticide-treated seedling. As you already know the problem proved to be far more difficult to solve than anticipated, therefore the contract had to be renewed on the same level four times. The last contract went from 2010-2014, from then on no new contracts has been written.
    In total we are talking of about 6 million euro since the start.
    In 2005 and 2006 we had two heavy storms in southern Sweden which together wind-threw over one whole yearly harvesting volume or 82 milj. m3. Because of that, regeneration increased fast and with it, the demand for insecticide-treated seedlings. After some years all wind-thrown areas were planted and the demand for insecticide-treated seedlings decreased rapidly. At about the same time the solution for non-chemical seedling protection hit the market.
    Because of the increase in funding 2005-2011 and despite the fact that we increased the research work, we still have some money to finalize the work today.
  • To start with most inventers came up with various barrier protections. The idea was simple. Put something around the seedling that the weevils can’t climb over – problem solved?!
    Pine weevils are lousy flyers and their landing is accurate within a couple of meters, at best, but they are excellent climbers and can fairly easily climb on slippery surfaces like a window glass and will even pass plastic protectors with extra barriers coated with Teflon. And if they can’t go over they will crawl under.
    Soon it proved that some kind of coating directly on the stem was better. But the diameter-growth makes the protections crack, giving the weevils a good possibility to access the bark.
    The coatings also led to some physiological problems for the seedlings. Some coatings had chemical effects and other, like wax, was too hot and damaged the seedlings severely.
    Finally, in 2001, a very promising solution was found.
    Put a certain kind of water-based glue on the stems and then spray a very fine sand on the glue. Pine weevils doesn’t like to get sand in their mouths.
  • It is all very fine once you have found a good protection but it is of no use if you can’t apply it on 150 million seedlings at a reasonable cost. This means it has to be applied by some kind of machine. And the machine has to handle the frail seedlings with care not to damage them in any way and still be able to apply properly without leaving the slightest opening for the weevils.
    This took some years and a handful of different solutions was tested but in 2009 the first commercial application unit was in use, treating a couple of million seedlings the first year. Since then the use of Conniflex has increased enormously.
    From just a few thousands to almost 70 million. In the same time the use of insecticide-treated seedlings has dropped dramatically although the dashed part of the blue line is estimated due to lack of data.
    In this latter aspect we have had some help from FSC who put extra pressure on the companies to reduce the use of chemicals in forestry.
  • The conclusion of all this is that a problem that seems easy enough to solve at first glance can prove very difficult. That’s when persistence and endurance is of the greatest importance.
    We, the members of the committee, Swedish forestry, authorities and union have all contributed to the persistence to reach the goal although it has been difficult at times, especially to raise more money through the plant nurseries. The nurseries themselves doesn’t benefit from any new protections. To them it is just something that has to be, and spraying insecticides is quick, easy and cheap. But since most Swedish forestry is FSC-certified today, the nurseries will have to adapt in order to stay on the market and sell to the forest companies.
    The fact that one company bought the patent for Conniflex did not mean that they kept it for them selves. They have a monopoly position put have chosen not to use it.
    Finally, it’s the methodology to reach a good result that’s important here. We have, thanks to the joint efforts, greatly reduced the use of toxic substances. It has been achieved through cooperation, sustainability and smart financing. We believe that our approach to this type of question works universally, and could be used just as well in another context.
  • Information about the progress of the research has continuously been spread. Primarily through the website Snytbagge.se but also through a large number of popular as well as scientific reports. There has also been a countless number of seminars, newspaper articles and conference presentations held.
  • We will have a stand if there are any more questions.

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