A range of movers and shakers in Swedish-Canadian relations on
forest and forestry issues met in Stockholm this week, with the Bio4Energy programme manager Stellan Marklund taking part in round-table discussions at the Embassy of Canada to Sweden, along with industrial representatives and other academic leaders.
“I suggested that a graduate school be created”, Marklund said. This would enable high-level academic exchange between several Swedish and Canadian institutions, as opposed to sticking with the more traditional model of two universities, one in each country, seeking to establish bilateral ties.
A shared desire to manage or use forests in the most efficient yet environmentally sound ways and an openness to increasing Swedish-Canadian exchange were apparent at the meeting, which included representatives of the Canadian forestry sector and consultants, and Swedish counterparts and academia, he said;
"They are interested in creating new contacts and in networking. The greatest potential for cooperation lies in the creation of a graduate school so that researchers can create networks.
"People liked the idea. I hope the group will take an initiative in this direction", he said of officials at the Embassy involved in shoring up scientific and commercial ties between the two countries.
Earlier in the day, the Secretariat for International Forestry Issues held a seminar on the "transformation of the Canadian forest sector and the Swedish experience" at the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry in Stockholm, which attracted a range of representatives of the Canadian and Swedish forestry sector.
On the Embassy website, the Canadian Ambassador to Sweden Kenneth Macartney, appointed to the post this year, said that Sweden and Canada “enjoy a strong and healthy commercial relationship with significant trade flows and two-way investment levels. We also have a growing collaboration in research and development, facilitated by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Science and Technology signed in 2010”.