Christofer Fjellner

Save our forests – print your emails

In 2017, forestry is on top of the agenda in Brussels. This spring, we are discussing new rules for biofuels in the revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) and also new accounting rules for forestry, in LULUCF (the catchy acronym for) Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry).

It is a problem that the general understanding of forests and forest management outside of countries with large forest areas such as Sweden, Finland and Austria is somewhat limited. There is a common misconception that a forest is best kept as a museum or recreational park; that harvesting trees and using forest-based products is bad not only for our forests but also for the climate. Nothing could be more wrong.

Inspired by Professor Mark Perry at the University of Michigan I want to spread the word about the benefits of forestry and also to clarify some of these misconceptions. From now on, I will therefore include the following information at the bottom of each email I send, and I encourage you to do the same:

Notice: It’s OK to print this email free of “eco-guilt”. Trees are not only good for printing – they are renewable, recyclable and sustainable. Managed forests are good for the environment and provide clean air, carbon storage and wildlife habitat. Managed forests store more carbon than forests that are not managed and replacing fossil products with renewable biomass store even more carbon over time. Thanks to improved forest management, we have more trees in Europe today than we had a 100 years ago. Harvesting trees also provides jobs for hundreds of thousands of Europeans. Read more:

Active forest management is essential to ensure that we make the best use of our forests. Because by managing our forests and substituting fossil products with renewable biomass we store carbon while more carbon is encapsulated in the growing forests over time. This achieves a far greater climate mitigating effect than the poorly managed forests that large swaths of the green movement call for. Actively managed forests provide clean air, carbon storage and wildlife habitat.

When Sweden and Finland joined the EU twenty years ago, the forest-covered areas of the Union increased by more than 50 per cent. Sweden is a country largely built on the forest sector and we have almost doubled the wood depository in our forests whilst also doubling the harvesting during the past 90 years. And this trend is not limited to Sweden, in reality the EU forest area increases every year by the equivalent of one Cyprus. There is simply no conflict between growing forests and utilising what the forests gives.

To highlight this, I’m starting this campaign and I encourage you to join me! Or at least, do not have bad conscience for printing!


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