16 November, 22:40
3,1 Km, Järna, SE
My name is Mikael Karlsson – I´m forty, and born in Gothenburg, in southern Sweden. I was sixteen when I first started to work in the forest. My Grand Dad, that I worked together with, was thought forestry during the fifty’s and sixty’s, when clear cuts and spruce plantation was the tune of the time. – One day at the coffee table after work, I asked him if forestry couldn’t be done in another way – “Do we have to cut down the forests and turn them into plantations?” His answer was a firm: “YES! Clear-cuts and plantations is the only rational way to run forestry, and that you must learn!“ I didn’t replied anything at that time - but the question never lived me.… The last 200 years humanity have cut down more than 75 percentage of all forests in the hole world. Some have turned into desserts, some have become land for agricultural use - and much is turned into tree plantations. The difference between a forest and a plantation huge. It´s like the difference between a lake and a swimming pool. A lake is a part of the ecosystem, a freshwater reserve and home fore thousands of species. A swimming pole is good a swim – period. A Forest is an fundamental part of the ecosystem, they are a pre condition for fresh water supply and the home for 80 percentage of all land based biodiversity. A plantation is mainly good for timber and pulpwood production – period. When we cut down a forest, and turn it into a tree plantation – we cut down the very living room for nature itself. Ten years ago I came across a different view of forestry. Seven years ago I came across Ecosystem based forestry. And five years ago I started to work full-time to influence the forestry, towards a ecosystem based thinking. Because - I have a dream - I have a dream of a vibrant forest - all around. And today I know it´s possible to achieve. Why now? Simple: Sixty years ago when clear-cuts and plantation forestry was introduced in large scale in Sweden, there was only demand for pine and spruce in northern Europe. Bioenergy had no market and the understanding for ecosystem services was just among a few. Today we can make use of many tree species, bioenergy is a growing market and there is a growing understanding that vital and healthy ecosystem is a pre condition for human life on earth. Today we have the possibility to take a new direction for the forestry, based upon the principle of nature itself. Ecoforestry works, there are already many on-going projects – al around the world. Whole county’s are starting to change – in this very moment - towards a ecosystem based forestry. All we have to do is to take a decision for a new direction – and start. I run for my life – I run for my children – and I run for the forest.