People walking in a broad leaved forest. Foto: Jenny Leyman

1.4 million hectares voluntary set-asides

Nyhet | Statistik - 22 May 2023

1.4 million hectares of forest land were voluntary set-asides during 2022 and the certified area was 14.8 million hectares. Both voluntary set-asides and certified area increased marginally since 2021, according to the Swedish Forest Agency’s statistics.

The area of voluntary set-asides in 2022 is 1.4 million hectares of productive forest land, which is a minor increase of 20,000 hectares compared with 2021. The voluntary set-asides were evenly distributed across the four regions Northern Norrland, Southern Norrland, Svealand and Götaland, each with 300 000 to 400 000 hectares.

Individual landowners accounted for 560 000 hectares of voluntary set-asides during 2022. Other landowners, which include private companies, public landowners, religious communities et cetera had 810 000 hectares of voluntary set-asides.

Area under certification

The area of productive forest land under the PEFC or FSC certifications amounted to 14.8 million hectares in 2022, also a slight increase of about 20,000 hectares compared with 2021. 67 per cent of all productive forest land outside formally protected areas in Sweden is certified.

Individual landowners own about 4.7 million hectares of certified forest land while the largest part, 10.1 million hectares, is owned by other landowners.

Revised statistics for the years 2019 to 2021

At the same time as new estimations of the certified area and voluntary set-asides of 2022 are published, revisions are also made for previously published estimations of 2019 to 2021. The revisions are mostly caused by improved quality in the reporting of regional data and ownership classification by the respondents. As an example, the revisions have increased the voluntary set-asides by 42,000 hectares in 2021.

A large respondent has incorrectly reported unproductive forest land along with the productive certified land for the years 2019-2021. This has been corrected and as a result the estimation of certified productive forest land has been reduced by 200,000 hectares (1 percent).


Voluntary set-aside – An area of productive forest land for which the landowner has voluntarily decided not to conduct measures that could damage environmental values, cultural environments or social values. The area must be documented in a management plan or other document.

Other landowners - The state, state-owned limited companies, other public owners, privately owned limited companies.

Individual landowners – Single owner, estates and small companies (sole trader).

The survey is part of Official Statistics of Sweden.


Voluntary set-asides and certified area

productive forest land

Source: Swedish Forest Agency

Logotype Official Statistics of Sweden

Certified forest area

productive forest land

Source: Swedish Forest Agency

Logotype Official Statistics of Sweden

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