Thematic Network on Sustainable Production and Foraging of Natural Products in the North

All scenarios of utilizing Nordic foraging resources, in particular wild berries, are under serious threats resulting from climate-change induced stresses such as invasive pest species, altered conditions including temperatures, snow cover and rainfall, and changes in abundance and species composition of pollinators. We will develop tools to mitigate the effects of such negative changes. To achieve the objectives we need to understand the underlying factors and effects of changes, and to educate the next generation of scientists and managers familiar with these issues.


  • To advance the sustainable use of rapidly renewable natural resources in the North
  • To ensure economic development of foraging-based bioeconomy in Northern Communities
  • To increase training and research on imminent threats to sustainability: invasive pests and pollinator decline, both accelerated by climate change


  • Joint research of five interdisciplinary research groups that represent various aspects of wild berry, mushroom and herb production and utilization in the Arctic, including invasive pests, pollinator declines, climate change effects, health effects and role as functional foods, socioeconomic questions and bioeconomy development. 
  • Outreach and Engagement- Conferences and workshops are organized to bring interest groups together, discuss challenges/barriers in key areas along with solutions and opportunities. In addition, network will engage in crosscutting educational focus groups aiming to establish joint summer schools.
  • The network will organize joint PhD-courses on topics critical to the Network, and will develop student and faculty exchange programs within the Network.
  • A Ph.D. course on Arctic Entomology under Climate to be held in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2018 as a result of a joint collaboration between the Nordic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural (NOVA) University Network, the Thematic Network on Sustainable Foraging of Natural Products in the North, and the TN on Arthropods of the Tundra / NeAT.

The network was responsible for a Ph.D. course Climate Change and Invasive Pest Threats in the North with an associated workshop. The core contributions from the activities will be combined to a special issue of the international journal Arthropod-Plant Interactions and published in 2018. 

Other Information

Ensuring sustainable production of foraged commodities in the North for the future needs a concerted multidisciplinary research effort involving ecologists, biologists, economists and other social scientists, working together with key stakeholders such as the berry industry, forest owners and managers, local village communities, policy makers, and the public media.