The International Day of Forests is initiated by the UN to raise awareness about forests and trees. This year’s theme is “Forest and climate change”. Several environmental organizations including Protect the Forest demand that EU’s ministers and leaders make decisions against burning forest for energy. Unfortunately, there is little awareness of protecting forests for the sake of the climate and for biodiversity in Sweden, instead it is going in the opposite direction: Felling notifications in Sweden increased by 32 percent in February 2023, according to the Swedish Forest Agency.

Marked out for logging all the way out into a swamp when Växjö diocese is to carry out logging at Gökhultesjön in Mönsterås municipality, county of Småland. Photo: Jan Brenander

In September 2022, the EU Parliament voted on a change to the Renewable Energy Directive (RED)- to slow down deforestation. Although the Parliament’s decision was far from perfect, it is a step in the right direction to protect forests from energy use.

EU negotiations are underway, but Sweden is undermining the decision

The final negotiations between the EU Parliament, the EU Commission and the EU member states regarding the directive on renewable energy are currently underway. Sweden holds the presidency of the EU and is doing everything they can, with the support of other member states, to undermine the EU Parliament’s vote and continue with “business as usual”, i.e. logging. Right now fellings are increasing in Sweden, according to the Swedish Forestry Agency: “New statistics from the Forestry Agency show that the area notified to be felled in February was 32 percent larger than in February 2022. The area in the application for a permit for logging in mountain forests was more than four times as large as the same month last year.”

Today, during the International Forestry Day, several environmental organizations are tweeting to influence negotiations on renewable energy in the EU. Protect the Forest is with us, Twitter:

Here are some current examples of forests with high conservation values ​​that are threatened or have already been cut down. These are just a few examples, there are many more that have been logged or are planned to be logged:

Mellanskog plans to log a forest with red-listed fungi Sarcosoma globosum- a globally threatened species

Critically endangered moss disappeared during forest felling in Stor Grav-berget

SCA has logged a forest with very high conservation values

Temporary stop for logging at Risveden thanks to non-profit struggle

160 year old forest is being logged while the County Administrative Board handles suspected environmental crime

Frödinge Skog has logged along river- violating FSC criteria

Forest with high conservation values at Gallsjön is planned for logging- authorities do not act

Forest at Ryssbergen threatened- “like tearing down Stockholm’s Old Town”

SCA plans to log forest with red-listed species- “incomprehensible!”

Sweden fails to protect species- old-growth forests planned for logging

Forest group finds hundreds of red-listed orchids in the Church’s forest which is planned for logging

SCA plans to clear-cut 200 hectares of forest with very high conservation values at Vargtjärnen