Bjørn Egil Flø

Research Scientist

(+47) 951 15 617


Visiting address
Klæbuveien 153, bygg C 1.etasje, 7031 Trondheim


SusCatt considered a wide range of innovations or system comparisons in the 6 countries, all aimed to improve sustainability within European cattle farming. On the whole, these involved reducing production intensity, making greater use of home-grown grass and other forage crops on farms – generally with promising results for beef and dairy production when we considered their potential impact across the 3 pillars of sustainability...


The SusCatt project investigates alternative systems to improve sustainability in European cattle production, taking different approaches in Norway, Sweden, Germany, Poland, UK and Italy – all making greater use of pasture and forage, reducing damaging or external inputs. Rather than us deciding on how we tell everybody about findings, one project task is to ask potential audiences about their sources of information – how they gain knowledge? Ideally, this will offer guidance on an effective dissemination strategy. Project messages are relevant to multiple sectors: farmers, extension workers, consumers and policy makers. Attempts were made to survey these multiple stakeholders. We collected 236 opinions and found considerable variation, not only between groups but also between the same sectors in different countries. The most popular and highest-ranking sources overall were traditional press formats of newspapers and magazines. On the other hand, accessing information from social media was very polarised; almost non-existent for German and Polish stakeholders but widely used by UK farmers (possibly skewed by the dominance of face-to-face rather than on-line data collection). Findings suggest that each message from research projects needs a customized approach in dissemination, depending on the target audience and their regular habits of sourcing information


Agroforestry can be defined as sustainable and multifunctional land-use systems where trees are managed together with agricultural crops or livestock on the same piece of land. In the northern periphery area, agroforestry has a long history with woodland grazing, reindeer husbandry and gathering of different non-wood forest resources as herbs, mushrooms and berries. Traditional agroforestry has gradually disappeared during the 20th century with the intensification of agriculture and forestry. Currently agroforestry systems are gaining new interest, not only from farmers but also from politicians, as this practice can possibly contribute to a more sustainable way of agricultural production. In the northern periphery area, the benefits of agroforestry practices can be manifold not only promoting traditional practices, but also novel systems with the use of new technology. In addition, agroforestry has environmental benefits as a method for conservation and enhancement of biodiversity, improved nutrient cycling, and water quality. Soil humus layer will also increase with several agroforestry systems leading to carbon sequestration. Here we present an overview of agroforestry practices in the Nordic countries and the use of non-wood forest resources with the emphasis on wild berries.


New projects in England and Norway addresses threats to traditional collaborative management by using a collaborative and multi-partner approach to improving the goods and services from commons. These goods and services include water quality and flood protection, biodiversity, cultural landscape, access, carbon storage and archaeology. The projects will increase understanding of the heritage of commons and their role in ecosystems service provision between visitors, local communities, policy makers and farmers. Overall the aim is to seek ways that improve the dialogue with and support the contribution of commoners and commons to the delivery of public goods and services. A key aim is to address the lack of understanding of commoning and commons amongst decision makers and other organisations who influence the management of the land. A pilot project in England produced a set of ‘attributes of successful management for multiple outcomes’ and these are central to the "Our Common Cause" project, which started in England in 2017. The co-production approach will be outlined regarding the best practice in the commoning community. Given the limited opportunities to build capacity and increase capability it is essential to promote and examine good case studies to ensure that knowledge and skills exchange is viable. The trans-regional approach is essential due to the fragmented nature of commons across England and justified by the themes that arose from the regions in the pilot. The richness of experience across the country will benefit commons, commoning communities and the range of organisations (public and private) that engage with them. The FUTGRAZE project in Norway seeks to tackle the issue of 'how do formal and informal institutions concerning common grazing adapt to environmental, political and economic change over time how do these changes influence different users cooperative strategies? It examine: - current arrangements for governance, management and operation in Norwegian grazing areas; - how grazing and cooperation are affected by change in land use pressure and structural changes causing reduced number of pasture farmers in some areas and asymmetry in herd sizes in other; - how grazing areas that are organized differently solve different challenges. The paper consider three broad areas. 1. The most fundamental threat is that the role of commoners and commons is neither understood nor valued; 2. The increasing number of external pressures on commoners threatens to undermine the systems and cultural landscapes of commons; 3. The decline in commoning threatens the heritage of commons and the public goods and services they It also diminishes the resilience of commons in the face of external pressures.

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In a landscape of fragmented private ownership, the need to coordinate game management across large areas presents challenges for landowners and public agencies alike. This paper describes how a recent reorganization of moose management in Norway achieves landscape-level planning while maintaining a tradition of local management by hunting teams. These two seemingly contradictory imperatives – coordinating wildlife management across large areas while keeping benefits and control in the hands of local resource users – are resolved through a nesting of management institutions, wherein the state serves a regulatory function and mid-level government (the county) serves to facilitate inter-local cooperation. This paper documents how the system is structured and describes the balance of incentives that enable the system to work. Information was gathered via interviews with staff at the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management (now called the Norwegian Environment Agency), with wildlife management officials at the municipal level, with hunters, and from the most recent regulatory documents.


Division of Food Production and Society

MilKey - Decision support system for sustainable and GHG optimized milk production in key European areas

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cattle account for approx. 14.5 per cent of global GHG emissions. At the same time, cattle in combination with milk make up a large part of the value creation and employment in Norwegian agriculture. There is also a goal to increase Norwegian food production. Through grazing, cattle contribute to maintain an open cultural landscape and biological diversity. This project will collect data from key European areas to design a decision support system for sustainable milk production with reduced GHG emissions. 

Active Updated: 01.03.2021
End: nov 2022
Start: dec 2019
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Agroforestry in Barents region

As productivity of forestry is lower in northern/arctic areas as compared to more southern locations, multiple use of forests should be emphasized in Barents region.  Agroforestry, a practice which intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems, is one potential but poorly understood and developed practice of forest multiple use. Agroforestry takes advantage of the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. Potential agroforestry practices suitable for Barents region conditions would be, for example, forest farming of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) like wild berries and mushrooms, effective utilization of wild herbs and production of high quality regional honeys.

Active Updated: 17.04.2021
End: oct 2021
Start: nov 2018