Last Friday, members of Protect the Forest demonstrated outside Riksdagen, (the Parliament in Stockholm) with a banner saying “Protect the Forest” and Extinction Rebellion’s choir sang climate songs. Earlier in the morning, Fridays for Future were there. Protect the Forest emphasizes that clear-cutting and logging is accelerating in Sweden although we are in a climate crisis. Sweden’s forest policy has devastating consequences for both biodiversity and the climate.
To reduce logging, stop clear-cutting forests, start restoring forests and to promote more deciduous trees is an effective climate solution that is possible to implement – a climate solution that many researchers are putting forward. But in Sweden things are going in the opposite direction. The Swedish forest industry uses climate change as an excuse to increase production levels. The politicians listen to the industry and to the myth that increased harvesting and growth of biomass provides the greatest climate benefit.
Sweden still hosts a large part of the remaining natural forests with high conservation values in northwestern Europe. But these forests are drastically decreasing all the time. Logging companies and landowners (who are usually FSC certified), continue to cut down forests with high conservation values because they are not protected. In Sweden, only about 6 percent of the productive forest land is formally protected.
Lately, Protect the Forest has drawn attention to the fact that also many urban forests in Stockholm are being exploited. The green wedges that are needed in urban areas are disappearing bit by bit: