Lars Erik, Sweden, Magnus Bundesen discussed on Monocle 24: The Foreign Desk
Look, look around Richard and see with your eyes. How inviting this car is this, like for the eye. The variety of species, you have the variety in size and in height and everything. Magnus bundesen from the Swedish forestry agency has taken me to this pine forest in southern Sweden, to show me how plants, birds and animals flourish when forests are not harvested in huge football pitch sized clearances. Clear cutting were every tree in a plot is cut down at the same time, is the way 97% of commercial forests are managed in Sweden. And bundesen has taken me to meet a forest donor who like him is an evangelist for the lower impact alternative. Continuous cover forestry. Last earth Levine. We are in Lila trong hill. This is a continuous cover, is it? Yeah, if you look for your left ear, this is harvested in 2017. He took down 70 m³ per hectare. He harvested in 2017. And how does that compare to how much you'd take back Hector if you were clear cutting? They took 300 m³ per hectare. And here he took about 70. And you see here, new plants coming? Mountain ash, birch, spruce, and here the roebuck has scraped antlers in the street. There's even a pint. If you start to look close, there's plants all over the place. It's a gold crust. When Lars Erik started managing this plot was continuous cover in the 1980s, he told no one, the practice was borderline criminal with forest owners caught doing it since stern letters. Now things are very different. The EU's new forest policy published in July, says clear cutting should be approached with caution. Sweden's green party wants continuous cover increase from 3% of forests to 30%. For Lars Erik, nature protection is only part of the appeal. Why did you keep this area continuous cover like in the 80s? The beautiful and the produce money. What you think you can get more money from here than with? I think so. I think so. But for all laws, Eric's enthusiasm for continuous cover, less than 10% of his forest is managed that way. Part of the reason bundesen has taken me here is to show me that the environmental case against clear cuts is far from obvious. In a few steps we are in a plantation of spruce, where every tree is 30 years old, and each lined up in evenly spaced rows. Oh my God. The contrast is amazing. It's a bit darker, isn't it? But here, this produce 15 to 20 m³ per hectare in the year. That produces 5. Do you understand that the climate impact here? What this binds in carbon dioxide? And how is the biodiversity different here? Well, it's zero here. It doesn't feed a mouse in here. The European Union was saying that Swedish forestry is not ecologically sustainable, and that this should be a no clear cut really, or as little as possible. I mean, what do you say to that? I think they need to come to Lila trung Hilton. And to meet Los Eric and see what is all about, but why is that would that be worse for the climate? Well, the forest has not created the climate problem. But we are part of the solution, like we can bind carbon dioxide, but we can very efficient substitute many different things that are worse for the climate. But we also have to work with biodiversity. And we do that when we make a clear cut. We don't make the whole thing just clear. We save some we take precautions. We get better at it. You see, he has saved a wet area. He has only harvested some spurs in there. I left the rest. He's saved some pains in the edges. There's an oak down there. There's a mount Nash. There are a few stumps, and over there, you see the lower stumps up there. So it's not that very clear. But if I was coming here and just as a conservator, I come here and look at this and you know, you can just see the devastation. Yeah, the forests have all taken away, how can this possibly not be terrible for the environment? Well, it's not a good thing for the bio diversity. It's not, but it's something that we have to do to feed us. So to say, and also to maybe for the climate change that we need to use the first products here, we will have very good spruce standing in the future that will bind a lot of carbon dioxide. But you say that this will bind a lot of carbon, but that will be in what 60 years. And by that time, we'll have passed all of our climate change global warming thresholds. Yeah, but we have used the wood as well for substitution for oil and gas and coal in like that. And maybe we make clothes of it to save from the cotton industry. And we make energy, heating the houses and making electricity. And it's not in 60 years that we will bind. We saw the standing before it was 30 years old, and it was growing, almost 20 m³ per hectare and year. Binding a lot. You have to see the whole circle. You can't just look at one clear cut. You have to look at, for example, the state here. He has a two hectare clear cut, but then he has 98 hectares of growing forests, binding Carpenter doxes. And doing a lot for the biodiversity. So we have to have both end. The picture is not so simple. It seems the debate about clear cutting is not clear cut at all. Richard orange, in illegal, southern Sweden, for Monaco. That's all for this week's special episode of the foreign desk explainer. Listen out for more of these editions produced by me, Michael booth, in association with the Nordic council of ministers. It was edited by the monocle 2014 in London. Thanks for listening and goodbye..