While Sweden currently holds the EU presidency, the Swedish forest industry and the government try to weaken and stop important legislative initiatives at the EU level (1). Today, as the EU Environmental ministers meet in Sweden, scientists and civil society launch a joint appeal calling for counteraction: Protect EU´s natural heritage in the north. 

“The destruction and fragmentation of forest ecosystems must stop. At the same time restoring and protecting the remaining near-natural and natural forests is fundamental in order to reach international climate- and environmental targets,” said Viktor Säfve, Protect the Forest Sweden.

The appeal presents a holistic vision for Swedish forests, which has garnered support from a coalition of scientists, environmental organizations and indigenous peoples. The appeal will remain open for more scientists and NGOs to join their voices in support.

The appeal outlines five demands on how Swedish forestry and policy need to transform in order to be in line with already agreed climate- and environmental goals: increased protection and restoration of forests, reformation of forestry practices, and constraining the production and consumption of biomass within planetary boundaries.

“At the time when reducing emissions and safeguarding every carbon storage is critical, the Swedish forest industry systematically moves large amounts of carbon out of the forests and into the atmosphere, this simply needs to stop,“ said Ida Sellstedt, spokesperson for Protect the Forest Sweden.  

This call is directed to the government and parliament of Sweden. It is also an appeal for the European Commission to withstand the pressure from Sweden and continue the processes of forming progressive legislation and strategies that aims to combat the nature and climate crises and strengthen forest ecosystems.

The appeal with the five demands can be found here: www.swedishforestvision.org  

Contact information

Ida Sellstedt, ida.sellstedt@skyddaskogen.se, +46 70 975 46 67

Viktor Säfve, viktor.safve@skyddaskogen.se, +46 76 114 88 11

1) Chapron, G. (2022). Sweden threatens European biodiversity. Science vol. 378, issue 6618: p. 364; https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adf2714

Dagens Nyheter (08-02-2023). Läcka: Sverige försöker styra EU-förhandling om skogen; https://www.dn.se/sverige/lacka-sverige-forsoker-styra-eu-forhandling-om-skogen/

Ends Europe (10-03-2023). LEAK: Sweden proposes weakening forest restoration rules; https://www.endseurope.com/article/1816028/leak-sweden-proposes-weakening-forest-restoration-rules

Ends Europe (27-03-2023). LEAK: RED negotiators prepare for horse-trading; https://www.endseurope.com/article/1817666/leak-red-negotiators-prepare-horse-trading