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A segment from the German documentary 'Who is protecting out forests?'.

The Forest Stewardship Council is the international organisation which sets standards on timber products to make sure that the world’s forests are managed responsibly. But does the organisation really protect the biodiversity of our forests? 

Valuable tropical forest is logged in Congo and the Amazon. Indigenous people lose their land. Forests are illegally logged in Cambodia and sold on the international market as FSC-certified via Vietnam. High conservation value forests are clear-cut in Sweden and Russia and replaced by tree plantations.

“This is not sustainable forestry. This is killing forestry. This is how you kill the ecosystem of the forest in Sweden”, says forest expert Sebastian Kirppu.

In the documentary, it is stated that the clear-cuts in Sweden would be illegal in Germany and France but in Sweden they are legal.

What has the FSC achieved since the organization was founded 25 years ago? A dramatically accelerating deforestation of the Earth.

Watch the German TV documentary about the FSC; 'Who is protecting out forests?' here.

Professor Ilkka Hanski. Foto: Heikki Färm

Professor, ecologist and evolutionary biologist Ilkka Hanski passed away in May 2016. In his last lecture, videoed at his home in February, he recaps in 45 minutes the current biodiversity situation and the research done in that field.

For more information about biodiversity loss, please read Hanski's book 'Messages from Island' (2016).

A view of the new logging road, here under construction with the caterpillar excavator digging its way in the foreground. Photo: Jon Andersson

Press release, 14th of February, 2018

A new report shows that the Swedish Forest Agency (SFA) is likely breaching the Swedish Forestry Act. The authority has planned a logging road through mountainous forest with high conservation values on behalf of a private forest owner in Dikanäs village in northern Sweden. Strong criticism is raised against the SFA and the Swedish Government which allow logging in one of Europe’s most valuable natural heritage.

A heated debate is currently taking place in Sweden on whether forestry should continue in mountainous forests with high conservation values that are yet untouched by industrial forestry. Simultaneously, a national survey of woodland key habitats, aiming to map high conservation forests, is halted in northwestern Sweden, since March 2017. From a European perspective, these mountainous forests in northern Sweden are thought to harbor some of the last remnants of critical and unique values for nature conservation.

During the summer and fall of 2017, Protect the Forest—a Swedish NGO with forest protection as main objective—organized a forest survey in the northern part of Vilhelmina municipality where 22 volunteers surveyed a 35 sqkm large area of mountainous forest.

“Our results suggest that these forests have very high conservation values, but surprisingly they are not formally protected. It is hard to fathom why the SFA is planning logging roads into previously untouched wilderness and thereby facilitate future logging operations. Much of what is lost due to industrial forestry, can still be found in these large forest landscapes. And our long list with findings of red-listed species provides clear evidence that these mountainous forests indeed harbor high conservation values,” said mycologist Helena Björnström. 

In total, 3,243 finds of red-listed species and indicator species were found during the survey. Adjacent to the new logging road that was planned by the SFA, 32 red-listed species were found inside the old-growth forest. Most of these species are near threatened and threatened due to clear-cutting forestry.

“It is a scandal that the SFA is helping the forestry to clear-cut mountainous forests with high conservation values in violation of what is stated in the Swedish Forestry Act. One of SFA’s objectives is to make sure that logging operations is avoided in forests with high conservation values. Furthermore, the SFA and the Swedish Government must take their responsibility and protect one of Europe’s last natural heritages from industrial forestry,” said forest biologist Isak Vahlström who volunteered in the forest survey.

The report “Forestry at the edge”, indicates that the pressure on Europe´s remaining unprotected montainous forests, which contain both timber and high conservation values, increases as timber volumes decrease at coastal and inland areas. Therefore, the SFA tends to make decisions that do not always comply with the Swedish Forestry Act.

One of the Swedish Forest Agency’s main objectives is to regulate forestry in coherence with the Forestry Act.

The report can be found here.

A photo album with images from the study area can be found here.

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The Swedish Forest Agency is the national authority in charge of forest-related issues and has a pivotal role in the implementation of the Swedish Forestry Act.

The Swedish Forestry Act states that the production and environmental objectives should be of equal importance.

The mountainous forest is located in mountain regions mainly in mid-northwestern Sweden.

The Swedish Forestry Act states in Section 18: “Felling permission may not be granted for felling in mountainous areas, if this felling is inconsistent with essential nature conservation and cultural heritage preservation interests.”

Woodland key habitat is a forest area that has a very large significance for forest flora and fauna, on the basis of a collective assessment of the habitat structure, species composition, stand history and physical environment. Red-listed species occur or can be expected to occur there.

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Contact

Jon Andersson, Ph.D. of Ecology and author of the report “Forestry at the edge”, +46 (0) 73 037 52 74, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Isak Vahlström, Forest biologist, +46 (0) 73 805 28 48, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

We are at EuroPride Stockholm 2018 Join us for celebrating Love and Diversity at EuroPride in Stockholm, 4th of august! Last year we were happy and proud to walk together with Greenpeace and we hope to do this again this year. Come with! Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Biologically valuable forest felled by Sveaskog north of Råmåsjön in Ecopark Ejheden. Photo: Leon Afsahi

Press release December 18, 2017

Sveaskog has felled more than 600 hectares of biologically valuable forests in Ore Forest Landscape in the county of Dalarna in Sweden since 2013. Recently, Sveaskog felled one more valuable forest in its Ecopark Ejheden. More forests are planned to be felled. 

Ore Forest Landscape is a large connected forest area with many biologically valuable forests in the county of Dalarna in Sweden. The area was mapped and inventoried by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) in 2011-2012. The inventory results were presented in a report about Ore Forest Landscape in 2013. The SSNC’s follow-up report “Logging continues” (2017) states that Sveaskog has felled over 600 hectares of biologically valuable forests since 2013.

“This is unacceptable. Ore Forest Landscape is one of the last and largest landscape areas in mid-Sweden where a large amount of old natural forest still remains. It is unique in the Swedish forest landscape of today. Now Sveaskog has intentionally fragmented many parts of this valuable area and more forests are planned to be logged,” said Helena Björnström who did inventories in the Ore forests during the summer and autumn of 2017.

Sveaskog felled a biologically valuable forest at Brännvinsberget during the winter 2016-2017. Over 150 findings of 26 red-listed species were made in that forest prior to the felling. In the beginning of December 2017, a forest with high biological values was felled by Sveaskog north of Råmåsjön in Ecopark Ejheden in Ore Forest Landscape. In this forest, some of the pine trees were older than 200 years old and during a short inventory visit during the summer, 13 red-listed indicator species were found, of which 10 were red-listed.

Sveaskog is a Swedish state-owned FSC-certified forest company which means that the company should demonstrate environmental consideration and not fell high conservation value forests. According to the FSC standard, consultations shall be maintained with people and groups directly affected by management operations. 

“The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation has not been informed or contacted by Sveaskog regarding any of the forests it has felled in Ore Forest Landscape except for Brännvinsberget where Sveaskog chose to log the forest despite very high conservation values,” said Margareta Wikström. Swedish Society for Nature Conservation in Rättvik.

Despite of protests from several different environmental NGOs, Sveaskog is planning to log biologically valuable forest in the north part of Brännvinsberget, Nyslogtjärnen, Stormyren, Grästjärnarna and South Ormtjärnen. Parts of what is planned to be felled lies within Sveaskog’s Ecopark Ejheden. No consultation has been maintained regarding any of these planned fellings.  

According to the Ecopark Plan, Sveaskog is planning to fell additional high conservation value forests such as Tjäderlekstjärnen which is a part of a natural forest landscape which has not yet been fragmented. 

Read more in the report  "Logging continues" (2017).

Contact

Helena Björnström, inventerare, Ore Skogsrike, +46 (0)70-428 43 65, helena_bns(@)hotmail.com

Margareta Wikström, Naturskyddsföreningen i Rättvik, +46 (0)70-668 71 46, margareta.wikstrom(@)naturskyddsforeningen.se

Bengt Oldhammer, rapportförfattare, Ore Skogsrike, +46 (0)70-334 33 82, bengt.oldhammer(@)telia.com

Felled pine tree which is 210 years old in Ore Forest Landscape within the Ecopark Ejheden. Photo: Helena Björnström.

Welcome to Ecopark Ejheden where many forests have been felled by Sveaskog. Photo: Helena Björnström