The Stora Iglekärr forest, not far from Gothenburg is next in turn to be saved by A click for the forest. Photo: Mats Abrahamsson
Can a click on the web save a forest? Lately, news about the Internet have been full of stories about how much energy “the Cloud” is actually using. But in this case the clicks work in a different direction.
The foundation A click for the forest (later called Naturarvet – nature heritage)was started in 2004 by Jenny Strand och Ann Murugan. For every click they get on their web site a sponsor pays an amount enough to buy a few square decimetres of forest. And when there’s enough money, a threatened forest is bought and protected – for all time to come, according to the foundation’s constitution. Read more » >>
The Sarek national park is part of the Laponia World Heritage, a place that is important both for its nature and cultural values. Photo: Peter Cairns/imagebank.sweden.se
In 1996 the area of Laponia in the very North of Sweden was put on the UNESCO list of World Heritages. Laponia is a 9400 square kilometre area of practically untouched nature, the largest in Europe.
But at the same time, this land is far from uninhabited: it is very important for the people who live here, among them the native Sami population, who needs the land for reindeer breeding and other activities.
The dilemma between protecting nature and at the same time making sure local native peoples can continue their way of life can be recognized from many nature reserves all over the world.
To sort out how these different needs can co-exist, something called the Laponia Process was set up. Read more » >>
Codfish, not from the fjords of Bohuslän, but from the Norwegian ones not that far away. Spectacular photo: Joachim S. Müller (CC BY-NC-SA)
The importance of biodiversity is something that has moved higher on the agenda for decision makers during the last years. Our ecosystems are extremely complicated webs of interdependance, and losing one part of this web can have much bigger effects than one might think. Therefore we need to take care of all different species and stop the exctincion going on globally.
But Kerstin Johannesson, who is a professor at the department for Marine Ecology at Gothenburg University has an interesting take on this: We can’t just save the rare species, we have to take care of the common ones too.
She and her team of researchers have shown that the more common species have a crucial importance for the eco systems by building good settings for other species. This means that the common species probably are the ruler of the future for their rarer neighbours in the sea.
The researchers’ most obvious example of this is how almost all codfish has disappeared from the fjords of Bohuslän in the West of Sweden. I remember how we used to consider codfish the dullest everyday food served at the school canteen when I was a kid. Now it’s rather considered a delicacy.
With the loss of the codfish the fjords also lost one of their most important species, explains Kerstin Johannesson. This can have far-reaching consequences for other animals. Without the big fish of prey, the submarine meadows of seaweed becomes owergrown.
Then these bays stop working as food resources and nurseries for other fish species too.
– While life disappears little by little, we tend to put the blame on eutrophication, says Karin Johannsson.
So, it’s time to save the less glamorous ones. Take care of the cod!
The Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla Vulgaris in Latin). It might look small, but it’s obviously strong enough to stop a whole construction project. Photo: Stan Shebs (CC GNU)
I’ve always been very fascinated by the stories I’ve heard of road projects being stopped in Iceland because a specific patch of ground was said to be the home of elves or other mystic creatures. I don’t know if there is any truth in these stories (maybe someone else knows?) and perhaps it’s just another national stereotype but somehow it’s a nice idea that non-material values are allowed to decide once in a while.
Now I read a Swedish story that reminds me of this. In the municipality of Linköping [map] the local authorities had planned to exploit a piece of land to give space for an industrial area. But then a rare flower, the Pasqueflower, was found in large quantities. The Pasqueflower is placed under protection and it’s prohibited to pick it or dig it up from the ground.
So the authorities decided to stop he whole project. Now they are investigating if the land could be used as pasture so that the Pasqueflower can thrive.
1-0 to Nature..?