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In Pictures: How an exotic tree species is threatening the Great Northern Forest and Indigenous People’s rights

Posted by Angela Glienicke - 22nd May 2018

On the International Day of Biodiversity a new report by the Swedish Sami Association reveals how the Swedish forest industry endangers the biodiversity of the Swedish Boreal Forest by logging and planting of an invasive tree species, the Lodgepole pine. The transformation of an intact biodiverse forest to plantations of a fast growing tree species has severe consequences on Sami reindeer herding. The reindeer roam freely and depend on protein rich lichens which is provided by old intact forests. As reindeer herding is an integral part of the Swedish Sami culture the threat to their herding land means a threat to their way of life. These pictures document the beauty of the Boreal Forest as well as what is at stake when the logging continues.

Reindeer are pictured in Sweden.
The Boreal forest is photographed in Sweden.
An aerial view shows the Fiby Urskog nature reserve located by Lake Fiby, about 16 kilometers west of Uppsala in Sweden. The area spans 87 hectares, of which most is land with unspoiled forest and hiking paths. The area is characterised by its uprooted and fallen trees and moss-rich ground.
An aerial view documents clear cut. Biodiversity is under threat by the expansion of logging companies into critical forest landscapes.
A white-tailed sea eagle is photographed in a Swedish forest.
This forest is close to lake Blecktjärnen in Jämtland.
After clearcutting, it is common for forestry companies in Sweden to plant lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), a non-native tree species. Lodgepole pine monoculture is a threat to biodiversity in the Swedish boreal forest, as the plantations replace the natural forests that once covered the landscape.
Furthermore, plantations of this non-native species jeopardises the indigenous Sami’s livelihoods, as it decreases access to natural grazing areas for their reindeer.
A reindeer photographed in Sweden.
Wolves are photographed in a Swedish forest.
Boreal forest pictured in Sweden.
A Brown bear is photographed in a Swedish forest.
An Ural owl (Strix uralensis) sits on a tree in a Swedish forest.
Greenpeace Nordic activists demonstrate at SCA’s Östrand pulp mill in Timrå, Sweden. SCA is a major pulp supplier to Essity, world’s second biggest tissue producer. The pulp mill sources its wood from companies logging in the last critical forest landscapes in northern Sweden.