Sustainable Forestry in Sweden
Sweden has approximately 23 million hectares of forest, about 57% of its total land. This large amount of forest is the result of a very well done sustainable forestry system, one that instead of destroying the environment takes care of it, leading to Sweden having some of the greatest forests in the world. However, this is not the case with many other countries around the world. Trees are one of the world’s most precious resources, used to make many useful products as well as much of the air we breathe. Sustainable forestry is the best way to conserve forests for future generations as well as slow down climate change. If we keep on using up what forests we have at the rate we are now, in 300 years there won’t be a single tree left on Earth, making the preservation of our forests one of the most pressing issues we as humanity face today.
Sweden's government has implemented many policies directed at keeping its forests sustainable. These include large tree planting programs to replace the trees which have been cut down and researching ways to limit logging as much as possible. However, logging and lumber-related jobs are a big part of Sweden’s economy, and so the government still supports the logging industry while researching possible substitutes for wood in industries like construction, furniture building, and paper making. With these industries providing many jobs for Swedes, their government feels it is important that all of these people continue to be employed, albeit at a different job. To this point, Sweden is funding research into alternatives for the wood that is so important to all their occupations, with the hope that they will still be able to keep the exact job they have now, just with a substitute for the wood they use.
Sustainable forestry is one of the most pressing issues that we face today, and a relatively simple solution to this problem is to fund research that looks at two things; environmentally friendly alternatives to wood and looking at more ways of how to efficiently use land for farming.
This helps to solve the problem of deforestation because in places like Brazil, a big reason for deforestation is to create space for farms or animals like cattle to graze. Were farms able to be more efficient with their land, they wouldn’t need to cut as much forest for space. These solutions are being worked on by the Swedish government, but just one country isn’t enough - many more countries need to join. Wealthier countries like the U.S and the U.K need to help support those countries that may not be able to spare funds for this research.
“SWEDEN ADOPTS FIRST OF ITS KIND NATIONAL FORESTRY PROGRAMME WITH FOCUS ON SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION” Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative https://www.siani.se/news-story/swedens-first-national-forestry-programme-focuses-on-sustainable-resource-management-and-conservation/ Web. 20 Jan 2019
“Sustainable Forests” Swedish Environmental Protection Agency http://www.swedishepa.se/Environmental-objectives-and-cooperation/Swedens-environmental-objectives/The-national-environmental-objectives/Sustainable-Forests/ Web. 20 Jan 2019