Protect the Forest has collected 90 examples of how the FSC-certified forestry company SCA systematically logs and plans to log natural forests with high conservation values, mainly in Västernorrland and Jämtland counties, Sweden. However, the number of unreported cases is high and many more forests with high conservation values are planned for logging by SCA. But it’s not just SCA that does this, all other large FSC-certified forest companies do the same. Here are some examples from the list:
Mörtsjöbodarna in Ragunda municipality, Jämtland is an example of a logged forest with high conservation values. Protect the Forest, The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Fridays for Future and Skogsvärn Näsåker have drawn attention to the logged forest at Mörtsjöbodarna recently at two demonstrations outside SCA’s headquarters. One of the species in the logged forest was the rare moth Baptria tibiale red-listed as endangered (EN). This is a scandalous act of ecocide, according to Protect the Forest.
At Dysjöberget, SCA logged 26 hectares of high conservation value forest with 200-year-old pines.
“It’s a scandal. A certified forest company that claims to take the environment and nature conservation into account and does this”, said forest biologist Sebastian Kirppu in an interview in Swedish television SVT Jämtland.
At Orrmyrarna in Sollefteå municipality, SCA has logged forest with very high conservation values. An environmental crime, according to Näsåker’s forest group and Skogsvärn Skogsnäs in an FSC complaint. In the forest, there was the red-listed willow tit, which cannot withstand logging, 1,000s of protected and red-listed orchids Goodyera repens and many red-listed wood-living fungi , as well as the red-listed lichens Lobaria pulmonaria and Alectoria sarmentosa. The logging contravenes the EU’s Bird Directive. The NGOs stated:
“It is clear that no qualified natural value assessment has been carried out. Likewise, there have been no safety margins or control mechanisms that prevented a natural forest with the highest imaginable conservation values from being logged – neither by the forest company nor by the responsible supervisory authorities”.
This summer, SCA felled trees that were over 300 years old at Holmtjärnen outside Näsåker in Sollefteå municipality.
“A serious violation”, said Daniel Rutschman, who has inventoried the forest. He is critical of how SCA has handled the case. Anders Edholm, communications director at SCA, responded to the criticism:
“In this case it was the human factor”, he told the Swedish radio SR P4.
But how many times can SCA blame it on a mistake and the human factor?
“It is incomprehensible that an FSC-certified company would even think about felling natural forests like these“
At Svarttjärnåsen and Marktjärn in Ånge municipality, SCA plans to fell a total of just over 50 hectares of natural forest with high to very high conservation values with a total of 32 red-listed species. Despite SCA receiving information that the forest harbors many red-listed species and high nature values, SCA has not withdrawn its felling notifications. Erland Lindblad, biologist who inventoried the forests there commented:
“It is incomprehensible that an FSC-certified company would even consider felling natural forests like these. And even more incomprehensible that Sweden’s nature conservation and regulatory authorities just stand by and watch, pretending like nothing is happening. Species protection legislation, environmental goals and international commitments seem to mean nothing. How is it possible that this is allowed to continue?”
At Djupdalsbäcken in Sollefteå municipality, SCA logged a natural forest before the Land and Environmental Court’s court process was completed. SCA has felled trees with pecking rows of the Eurasian three-toed woodpecker, a bird that is red-listed as near threatened (NT) and that is protected according to the Species Protection Ordinance §4.
At Stor-Gravberget 10 km west of Ånge in Västernorrland County, SCA logged a forest with the critically endangered moss, Cephalozia macounii (CR). The logging was a violation of all nature conservation criteria in the FSC standard. It was a violation of Swedish law, because Cephalozia macounii is listed in Appendix 2 of the Habitats Directive and protected according to §8 of the Species Protection Ordinance. It was thereby also a violation against the EU legislation. Cephalozia macounii is also protected by the Bern Convention, The Council of Europe’s Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats.
Pressure from the environmental movement has stopped logging
The list also has examples of forests that SCA notified for logging but then withdrawn from felling after pressure from the environmental movement. These are natural forests that would not have been notified for felling from the very beginning. SCA has announced that they intend to notify some of the forests for felling again – with so-called “enhanced” consideration. It is something that we strongly oppose – these forests need to be protected in their entirety.
The 90 examples have been submitted to SCA, to FSC and to Swedish authorities.
The list of 90 examples is here
Lina Burnelius, Protect the Forest
tel +46 73 440 47 93
Daniel Rutschman, Protect the Forest and Skogsvärn Näsåker/Skogsvärn Skogsnäs
tel. +46 76 112 88 26
More articles about SCA: