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The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation: We need a new forest policy

– It is clear from the expert authorities, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Forest Agency, that this is the case, the challenges around biodiversity are very great. And it is very much about habitats for endangered species disappearing, says Johanna Sandahl, chairman of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.

“A big problem”

Lena Ek, chairman of Södra Skogsägarna, Sweden’s largest organization for forest owners, and former center-right environment minister, believes that many see forest management as it was in the 60s and 70s. She believes that family forestry in Sweden is a good example of how it is possible to manage and use natural resources in a sustainable way.

Ek also thinks that forestry in general is quite good at taking responsibility.

– Almost all of Swedish forestry is environmentally certified, and even doubly environmentally certified, and I think that is good because it constantly improves the quality of forestry. And if you are, you have 250 requirements to fill.

But she was opposed by Johanna Sandahl at the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, who believes that the overall picture is not good.

– We have a big problem, and I would say that a lot boils down to the current forest policy. We have a forest policy today, and a law, which came into being before the climate debate, before the great knowledge we have today about biodiversity, before the environmental goals and before EU accession.

Agree on today’s policy

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According to Sandahl, forest policy has reached the “end of the road”.

– The current one does not work. Freedom under responsibility has not been enough all the way.

On the contrary, Lena Ek at Södra Skogsägarna believes that today’s forest policy works.

– Freedom under responsibility and the current forest legislation has actually delivered great results, says Ek.

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– And we need to be able to ensure that those who are to manage the forest can also live on this. They are not rich people, they are ordinary farmers who for generations have managed their forest and tried to get it as good as possible.

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