Sweden has vast ‘old growth’ forests – but they are being chopped down faster than the Amazon

By Anders Ahlström, Lund University and Pep Canadell, CSIRO
The Conversation
March 13, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Most of Europe’s natural ecosystems have been lost over the centuries. However, a sizeable amount of natural old forest still exists, especially in the north. These “old-growth” forests are exceptionally valuable as they tend to host more species, store more carbon, and are more resilient to environmental change. Many of these forests are found in Sweden, part of the belt of boreal forests that circle the world through Canada, Scandinavia and Russia. But after researching these last relics of natural forest we have found they are being cleared rapidly – at a rate faster even than the Amazon rainforest. There is no direct monitoring of these forests, no thorough environmental impact assessments. …something similar is happening right across the world’s boreal forests. …we’ll need a coordinated system to map and monitor the entire boreal forest simply to learn the rate at which it is being lost. 

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