Stockholm 25th of June, 2018
1,200 photographers and filmmakers worried: Protect forests in Sweden now
Today, 1,200 photographers from 25 countries and 9 associations for nature photographers and filmmakers in Europe demand that 20% of the productive woodland in Sweden must be permanently protected and that all logging plans in high conservation value forests must be immediately withdrawn.
“We are deeply concerned about the Swedish forest situation,” said Johan Lind, chairman of Naturfotograferna (Swedish Association for Nature Photographers).
A total of 1,200 photographers and filmmakers have signed an open letter, which is sent to the Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Director General of the Swedish Forest Agency and a number of forest companies, today.
“Today’s intensive forestry threatens the last valuable natural forests and the biodiversity in Sweden that we channel with our cameras. We appreciate wild and non-exploited nature and want to capture the essence of it. Through movies and photos, we tell stories, inspire and educate about beautiful landscapes, fascinating birds, exciting insects and interesting plants. The forestry puts the nature at risk,” said Annette Seldén, board member of Naturfotograferna.
The film and the photographers write in the open letter that it is not acceptable that high conservation value forests, which are vital to biodiversity and constitute a unique part of some of the last wilderness in Europe, are being felled by FSC-certified forest companies. FSC is a forest certification scheme stating that high conservation value forests should not be felled and that nature consideration measures should be taken when felling is being conducted.
“As it is now we remove the forest forever and replace it with plantations. Today’s forestry is a total vandalization of our forest heritage,” said Staffan Widstrand, member of Naturfotograferna and CEO of Wild Wonders International.
The photographers demand the following:
1) Formal protection of 20% of the productive forest land in Sweden in accordance to leading nature conservation science.
2) Logging plans in all high conservation value forests should be immediately withdrawn.
3) Exempt all high conservation value forests (core areas including registered and unregistered woodland key habitats) from forestry and protect them permanently.
4) Forests in High Value Forest Landscapes and continuity forests as well as forests with unknown biological values must be visited in the field and inventoried prior to any kind of planned forestry operation. Importantly, if high conservation values are discovered, these areas should be exempt from forestry.
“We cannot stress enough the value of wild and intact high conservation value forest landscapes. Should our pictures only depict recollected memories of lost nature? We risk having a future where pristine natural forests only exist in old books, dusty archives and on old hard drives. We must protect what remains of our valuable natural forests now,” said Thomas Andersson, vice president of Nature Photographs.
Read the letter here: http://www.naturfotograferna.se/images/PDF/Open-letter-with-signatures.pdf
For questions and interviews, contact Staffan Widstrand, member of Naturfotograferna (Swedish Association for Nature Photographers) and CEO, Wild Wonders International, tel. 070 657 33 24, firstname.lastname@example.org