Government slammed for ‘weakening’ nature preservation

Swedish government policies weaken the protection of the Swedish countryside, according to representatives for the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC).

The society has voiced its criticism in connection with the publication of its new report Naturvårdspolitiken Sverige 2006-2010 (Environmental Protection Policies Sweden 2006-2010) in an opinion article in the Dagens Nyheter daily on Tuesday.

“There has been a regime change within Swedish nature conservation policy where the government puts private ownership before the preservation of nature for future generations,” write the society’s chairperson, Mikael Karlsson, and project leader, Jonas Rudberg.

The society criticizes the government for, among other things, its forestry policy with increased timber production favoured over forestry protection.

“The protection of forests which are difficult to rejuvenate has, for example, been weakened, which means that many valuable environments which have previously required permits can now legally be cut.”

The legal changes which have eased building restrictions designed to protect coastal and beach areas have also come under stern criticism.

“The habitats of many endangered species, and outdoor activities suffer as more and more of Sweden’s beaches are exploited,” the pair write.

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