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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Environmental Values
Page(s) 1 - 30
Title of proceedings Environmental Values
DOI 10.3197/096327121x16387842836959

Open Access


Forests are under immense stress globally. Economic growth is one reason for this: its impacts can lead to deforestation and put tremendous harvesting pressure on forests. In light of increasingly popular – and growth-based – bioeconomy strategies, the need for more wood is likely to accelerate. Degrowth, in contrast, rejects economic growth as the central economic principle, arguing that the material throughput of countries in the Global North must shrink to achieve global sustainability. Although the concept has gained importance, there have been no attempts to link degrowth with the forest sector. This article argues that degrowth principles are beneficial for basing the forest sector on sustainable grounds, while the degrowth movement also needs to define its relationship to the forest. Against this backdrop, this contribution sets the cornerstone by linking the Swiss forest sector to central degrowth principles, and discussing possible interrelations and mismatches. Finally, a future research agenda for degrowth and the forest sector is presented.