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Action Alert: Support Swedish Forest Blockade Targeting Limestone Mine in Important Old-Growth, Water-Rich Ecosystem

The Finnish mining company Nordkalk, and national logging company Mellanskog, have started work on a limestone mine on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, threatening a sensitive and unique natural environment of ecologically unique ancient forests, moorlands, and swamps. There is a major ongoing forest occupation against this logging and mining of critical ecosystems and groundwater destruction, which just this past Saturday managed to stop the initial forest clearing, pending an important Supreme Court decision that may establish a legal precedent for ecosystem protections nationwide. However this temporary halt in logging is not enough, Nordkalk must permanently cancel the Gotland limestone quarry regardless of the court's decision. Supporting these sorts of community rebellions against ecocide, and for healthy local ecosystems, is what Ecological Internet's global network is all about.

By Forests.org, a project of EcoInternet - September 2, 2012

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Additional Background

The Swedish Ojnare Forest has been described as unlike any other on the planet – with unique ancient pine forests, short in stature due to the cold climate, yet with individual trees up to 1000 years old, in ecosystems containing 265 endangered species. These old forests shroud the island's unique and complex groundwater system, and their destruction will place the island's biggest freshwater source at risk. The area's unique natural ecosystem habitats are of high national interest for nature conservation, as the Ojnare Forest is located between and adjacent to two European Natura 2000 conservation areas, and is proposed to become a National Park. The Ojnare Forest and its natural ecosystems are under attack by a large open pit limestone mine that would cover 420 acres with a 26 meter deep toxic hole.

Ojnare Forest, Gotland Island, SwedenOver the objections of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, and despite appeals to the Supreme Court, preparatory work for the mine is already underway. There is a major forest protest occupation ongoing at Gotland Island against this logging and mining. Protesters have been occupying Ojnareskogen since July, and in recent days some 70 police officers have come to remove them, and the number of protestors has risen to over 100 – ranging from self-described rebels against ecocide, to families with small children. Despite having already started clearing land for in excess of what had been approved, Mellanskog decided on Saturday to suspend the ongoing logging on Gotland pending a decision from the Supreme Court. While a positive development, protest continues until the logging and entire project are cancelled.

Although the acutely threatened area is "only" 170 hectares in size, the case reveals Sweden's weak forest protection legislation and possible resource allocation corruption. Only a few percent of Sweden's high conservation value forests remain, and only 3.3 percent of the productive forest area is protected. The verdict in this case will be used by other corporations to clearcut and exploit other old natural ecosystems in the country. Ecological Internet has a long history of successfully supporting local Scandinavian old-growth forest protection movements. In 2009, our network sent 1,117,294 protest emails in a successful campaign stopping industrial development in 80% of Finland's Central Lapland wilderness, covering tens of thousands of hectares. Few thought such protections were possible, yet with strong local organizing backed up by EI's unprecedented global network's international campaign, it was one of many great victories for Earth's old forests.


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No ecosystems, no economy, no jobs, nothing forever
No ecosystems, no economy, no jobs, nothing forever  (link)

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cc:  Nordkalk staff, Mellanskog staff, Swedish embassies

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More Information

The Ojnare Forest - exceptional YouTube video

Ojnare - Tumblr blog

Facebook campaign page

Support Finnish NGOs in Their Fight for Lapland's Ancient Forests - past successful Ecological Internet action alert


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   Earth Action Network Protest Participants

    People from 85 countries have sent 306,983 protest emails

M Walters - Denmark
J Bowman - United States
C J Querido - Portugal
V Mengoli - Italy
M Ferreiro - Spain
A Bali - Canada
Reichardt - Germany
F Cavarra - Italy
J Alon - United States
M Sobczyk - Poland
V Ciesielski - France
S Randolph - United Kingdom
P McDonald - United States
V Cervellati - Italy
F Simms - United States
E Lapouge - Netherlands
L Sanchez - Spain
K Nicholson - United States
Z Ivanova - United States
M Leahy - United States
J Roland - Croatia
L Nilsson - United States
C Reynal - France
S Oesterling - United States
J Mulcare - United States
            

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Alert News Updates

17/9/2012 - Battle over ancient Swedish forest, Guardian

3/9/2012 - Swedish Island Community Stays Mining Plans, Epoch Times

3/9/2012 - Tree clearance halted in Ojnare forest, Radio Sweden