© Elisabeth Kruger / WWF

WWF Arctic Council Scorecard


Sweden has a solid record of implementing sustainable policies and practices in the Arctic.

Its high score is the result of a strong commitment to the Arctic environment; however, it may also partially reflect the fewer assessment criteria applied to the country, given its lack of Arctic Ocean coastline and waters.

The highlight of Sweden’s recent work has been a set of measures to track and minimize climatic stressors of high relevance to the Arctic environment. In addition, the country’s Zero Vision Tool shows how shipping can be increased without driving up greenhouse gas emissions.

On the other hand, like Finland, Sweden will need to make sure that its strides toward Arctic sustainability do not falter in the face of a burgeoning bio-economy and increased interest in harvesting forests with high conservation value.




See full criteria.


  • Biodiversity is a policy strength. It features prominently as a priority area for “Sweden’s strategy for the Arctic region” as well as in the newer Environmental Policy for the Arctic (Crit. 1.1).
  • Sweden cooperates frequently with neighbouring states to assess the extent of necessary protected areas. The Barents Protected Area Network (BPAN) project, co-funded by Sweden, analyzes landscape fragmentation and connectivity loss; not all gaps have been filled yet, but the project is a sound basis for further work (Crit. 2.2) as well as for ecosystem-based management of cross-border populations of vulnerable large predators (Crit. 3.2.1).
  • Compared with other Arctic states, Sweden has made headway in promoting Indigenous Peoples’ participation in the sustainable management of some protected areas. An example is the Laponia World Heritage Site, which is governed by a board of directors with a Saami majority and whose management structure reflects traditional Saami organisational practices and knowledge (crit. 2.3.3).


  • Even with Saami participation in the governance of some protected areas, no evidence has been found for the state’s inclusion of Indigenous and local knowledge to develop short- and long-term projections for the Arctic (Crit. 4.2.1).
  • Despite regulations for environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental assessments prior to new exploration or exploitation activities, Sweden currently does not have a requirement for risk assessments (Crit. 3.1.4).
  • According to the latest Swedish forest strategy (in 2018), about 900 km² of forests in the whole country need to be protected, of which about 300 km² are located in the northernmost counties of Västerbotten and Norrbotten. Sweden should continue to aim to fill such geographic gaps for terrestrial protected area networks (Crit. 2.2.2).

Detailed ratings

B Biodiversity

  • Mainstreaming Biodiversity and its Resilience
  • 5/6
  • Sustainable Management of Living Resources and Habitats
  • 2/4
  • Monitoring Biodiversity
  • 2/4
  • Overall Rating
  • 9/14

All ratings for Biodiversity

B Conservation areas

  • Identification of Conservation Areas
  • 0/2
  • Protecting Areas of Ecological Importance
  • 3/4
  • Mechanisms to Safeguard Connectivity
  • 2/2
  • Overall Rating
  • 5/8

All ratings for Conservation areas

A Ecosystem-based Management

  • Environmental Impact Assessments, Strategic Environmental Assessments and Risk Assessments
  • 4/6
  • Assessment of Combined Effects of Multiple Stressors
  • 2/2
  • Arctic State Cooperation in Advancing Implementation of EBM
  • 2/2
  • Overall Rating
  • 8/10

All ratings for Ecosystem-based Management

A Black Carbon and Methane

  • Short-lived Climate Forcers: Black Carbon and Methane Emissions
  • 6/6
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • 4/6
  • Climate Change Observation
  • 2/2
  • Overall Rating
  • 12/14

All ratings for Black Carbon and Methane

B Oil Spills

  • National Action for Preparedness and Response
  • 2/2
  • Oil Spill Monitoring
  • 2/2
  • Oil Spill Prevention
  • 0/2
  • Overall Rating
  • 4/6

All ratings for Oil Spills

A Shipping

  • Protection from various shipping risks
  • 2/2
  • Actions to reduce air emissions from shipping
  • 4/4
  • Arctic Marine Traffic System
  • N/A
  • Overall Rating
  • 6/6

All ratings for Shipping