With this film, we want to nuance and debunk the green saga that is spread about the Swedish forestry model. Because if the forest industries' claims are not true, continuing to use and spread the model could jeopardize the climate and the ecosystems on which we all depend.

In this film, a number of prominent, and independent scientists and experts are helping us examine the claims that the forest industry is spreading about the Swedish forestry model and the bio-economy.

The film is produced and published by Protect the Forest and Greenpeace Nordic.

Watch the film here: www.moreofeverything-film.com

 

The new website www.skogsmissbruket.org/english (in English: forestry misuse) encourages people to  take action and svamp the internet with images and videos to show how terribly bad the forest situation is in Sweden. On the website, a number of images can be downloaded for free and shared on social media by anyone, as long as the name of the photographer is mentioned under every picture.

The website states:

"For generations, we have been told that Swedish environmental practices – including its forestry management – are among the best in the world.

And yet, for over half a century, this is what has been happening to our old growth forests.

Every year, more forests are razed to the ground, which is then ploughed like an agricultural field to make way for monoculture plantations, neat rows of pine or spruce. Not for the sake of biodiversity, but to be harvested once again in 60 to 80 years.

Those are not real forests. Complex ecosystems, once they have been destroyed, cannot be artificially recreated."

Read more and please help to put an end to the destruction of our old growth forests by downloading and sharing images on social media from https://www.skogsmissbruket.org/english

Mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus) in Märjamaa forest-park. Photo: Mari Laanesaar.

There has been progress in Estonia's forest-park lawsuit: the dispute about whether the logging permits were challenged on time has reached the Supreme Court of Estonia. However, Stora Enso has said a few days ago that they intend to cut down the Märjamaa forest-park as soon as they can – i.e. before the Supreme Court can make a decision.

The fact that the dispute made it to the highest court gives hope to the Estonian local communities that their interests will be taken more into account when it comes to deciding over the green spaces in their neighborhoods.

Read more about the criticism against Stora Enso in Estonia here.

The forest in Märjaama forest-park. Photo: Mari Laanesaar.

 

One of the forests in the Sámi reindeer herding district Luokta-Mávas that is planned to be felled by state-owned forest company Sveaskog.

Europe’s largest logging company, Swedish state-owned Sveaskog, plans to harvest the last remaining natural forests in Luokta-Mávas Sámi reindeer herding district, in the northern part of Sweden. However, due to protests, Sveaskog recently announced that it will pause its planned logging in the district Luokta-Mávas.

“Sveaskog intends to log 1000 football fields of forests, devastating to the climate and a death sentence for our community," says Lars Anders Baer, chairman of the Sámi reindeer herding district Luokta-Mávas.

The indigenous Sámi people have been living on these lands for thousands of years, proven by archeological traces in the now threatened forests.

"If these forests are to be clear-cut, this is yet another colonial act of us being erased from the history books," says Lars Anders Baer.

During the past 50 years a total of 70 percent of the reindeer-lichen, necessary for the survival of the reindeer, is already lost in Sápmi, the land of the indigenous Sámi people. “We have nowhere left to go.”

"We’ve always been using the land. Sveaskog is abusing the land. They are well aware of our dependence on these lands. The government is well aware of us having the right to protect our ancestral land. Our lives don’t seem to carry the same worth as money," says Lars Anders Baer.

"Sveaskog refers to these forests as “objects”. To us forests cannot be objects. The land of the reindeer is our home," says Lars Anders Baer.

Lina Burnelius, climate and land-use expert at Protect the Forest, has visited the forest over the last two weeks and says:

"Sveaskog’s logging plans equal enormous amounts of greenhouse gases and a further decline of biodiversity. When we find, for example, Skeletocutis lenis, we know that there is dead pinewood that it took the forest about 500 years to create. Words cannot begin to explain the bedrock of life and the size of the carbon stocks that these forests contain. They must be protected, not clear-cut."

"One cannot clear-cut natural forests and at the same time halt the climate collapse nor honour the Paris agreement. It’s impossible. But if Luokta-Mávas’ indigenous people’s rights are respected, Sweden still has a fair chance to live up to the Paris Agreement. It’s in their hands now," says Lina Burnelius.

Marie B Hagsgård, expert on the rights of minorities’ and indigenous peoples’ and member of the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities, Council of Europe, states:

"The Sámi people’s possibilities to maintain and develop their culture and communities is to be promoted according to the constitutional law of Sweden."

"The Swedish Forest Agency is obligated to promote the possibility for the Sámi people to maintain and develop their reindeer husbandry culture through its supervision of the Swedish Forest Law [Skogsvårdslagen]. When two different interests are to be weighed against each other, as for instance forestry and reindeer husbandry, the Swedish Supreme Court has stated; the Sámi people’s interest to maintain its culture, including reindeer husbandry, shall be given special weight," Marie B Hagsgård concludes.

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation supports Luokta-Mávas’ fight for the last remaining natural forests. Johanna Nilsson, co-ordinator at SSNC in Norrbotten county, has witnessed Sveaskog’s lack of respect for the local communities and people of the North.

"Indigenous people only make up 5 percent of the global population today, but they protect over 80 percent of the last healthy natural habitats on the entire planet including the biodiversity these areas accommodate. That’s no coincidence," says Johanna Nilsson.

"Some call this issue complex – but to me it’s simple: none of us can live without healthy nature and water. It is frightening to us that we and Sveaskog have such different perspectives on life itself," Lars-Anders Baer concludes.

Due to the protests, Sveaskog recently announced that it will pause its planned logging in the district Luokta-Mávas.

Sign petition to demand that Sveaskog officially and permanently withdraws its 700 ha clear-cutting plans in Luokta-Mávas here.

Read more about the forests in Luokta-Mávas at Arvas Foundation here.

Contact 

Lina Burnelius, Climate and Land-use Expert at Protect the Forest, Sweden. Lina has visited the forests at Luokta-Mávas.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +46 734 404793

Lina Burnelius is Climate and Land-use Expert at Protect the Forest, Sweden.

The WeMove petition, which is supported by Protect the Forest and more than 60 other NGOs, calls on EU policymakers and EU Member States to end subsidies and other incentives for burning forest wood. Instead, energy efficiency and true low-emissions renewable energy sources should be supported. Overall, forest protection and restoration need to be prioritised and all EU policies need to safeguard our health, the climate and biodiversity.

The petition also calls for an exclusion of energy generated from burning forest wood from counting toward renewable energy targets.

Preserving nature and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change will require an extraordinary commitment to protect and restore natural forests. Yet, EU leaders are undermining our shared efforts to fight for our forests and the planet. EU policy is increasing forest logging and associated greenhouse gas emissions by misleadingly promoting the burning of forest wood as “zero carbon” renewable energy.

Let EU officials know that burning wood for fuel is a disaster for forests and the climate by signing this WeMove petition.