Primeval forests in northern Europe are threatened by logging operations. But conservationists’ calls for more protection are making headway. Sweden’s forestry giant, Sveaskog, will leave more forest alone, which will benefit the Indigenous Sami.
On maps, Lapland looks like one giant forest. But as you advance north in the border area between Sweden and Finland, the signs of logging become more and more apparent. That is due, in part, to Sveaskog, Sweden’s largest owner of forestland.
Greenpeace targeted Sweden’s state-owned company with months-long demonstrations. Sami reindeer herders have also long been fighting to protect their last winter grazing pastures.
Finland is ahead of the game thanks to a protest 20 years ago in Inari, the heart of Finnish Sami culture. As a result, it was decided to leave part of the primeval forest standing rather than chopping it down to become disposable paper cups, newspapers, and toilet paper.
Sveaskog is now pledging to cut down fewer trees in the future and leave room for the traditional reindeer herding practices of the Indigenous Sami. The forest will once again be a nursery to hundreds of baby reindeer.
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