Sundays for Forests will be launched for the first time in Sweden and in the world on the 31st of January. The day is inspired by the Fridays for Future movement. The purpose is to raise awareness of the loss of biodiversity in the forest. The organizers encourage other organizations and individuals to arrange Sundays for Forests in other countries around the world.
– We are facing a sixth mass extinction of species on Earth caused by human influence. It is as much of a threat to humanity as climate change. The expansive forestry of today leads to the loss of important habitats that many different species need. We can no longer sit quietly and watch as the forest is being destroyed – it is time for us to raise our voices and act, says Angela Hunter from the local forest network Bohusläns skogsnätverk in Sweden.
Several local environmental NGOs join forces and arrange Sundays for Forests together in the small town Strömstad on the west coast of Sweden on the 31st of January. They invite the public to join guided walks in the forest in order to raise awareness of forest ecosystem functions and of the threats to these.
– With Sundays for Forests, we invite people of all ages to follow us out into the forest and to see with their own eyes what we are about to lose. We need strong laws that protect nature and we must achieve our national and international environmental objectives both in Sweden and in the world. But instead, the last unprotected natural forests are being logged and replaced with tree plantations. This is devastating for both the biodiversity and the climate, says Angela Hunter from Bohusläns skogsnätverk.
Sundays for Forests will be organized once a month in different municipalities in Sweden. The organizers of Sundays for Forests* encourage organizations and individuals to highlight and arrange Sundays for Forests during the year 2021 around the world, as well as putting pressure on politicians and decision makers both nationally and globally.
* The following organizations support Sundays for Forests in Bohuslän: Bohusläns skogsnätverk, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) in Bohuslän, SSNC in Strömstad, SSNC in Tanum, SSNC in Lysekil-Munkedal, SSNC in Sotenäs, Protect the Forest and Studiefrämjandet (study association).
The guided walk will be adapted to current corona restrictions.
Sundays for Forests on Facebook here (in Swedish).
FACTS ABOUT FOREST AND CLIMATE
When forests are harvested, large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are released to the atmosphere. It usually takes about 10-20 years for newly planted trees to absorb the carbon dioxide that is released from the harvested site in the boreal region. In general, tree plantations store less carbon than the former natural forest.
Natural forest ecosystems and mixed forests are more robust, resilient and adapt better to the negative effects of climate change than tree plantations.
Functioning forest ecosystems are needed to both meet and mitigate the negative effects of climate change.
Angela Hunter, Bohusläns skogsnätverk, Sweden, angela_hunter90(@)hotmail.com, phone: +46 (0)72 288 62 77
For general inquiries about Sundays for Forests:
Bohusläns skogsnätverk, Sweden, infobohuslanskogarsnaturvarden(@)gmail.com
Swedish Society for Nature Conservation in Strömstad, Sweden, stromstad(@)naturskyddsforeningen.se