Some 30 countries throughout eastern and western Europe have no intact ancient forest left. Finland retains only about five percent of the old-growth boreal forests that once covered most of the country, but now even that is under threat, and by the government's own forestry company.
Finnish forest slated for logging which will begin any day.
The Finnish state owned forestry enterprise Metsahallitus is
planning to start logging the old-growth forests of Malahvia, in
the north eastern part of Finland close to the Russian border.
Metsahallitus plans to commence both clearcutting and selective
logging in the area despite clear scientific evidence about the
high biological value of the Malahvia forest.
This old growth forest of almost 4000 hectares includes
unditched bogs, streams, lakes and ponds. Rare and declining animal
and plant species that depend on old growth forest conditions are
common in this area. The forest is one of Finland's important homes
for once numerous species like the Siberian Jay and Three-toed
Woodpecker which have declined alarmingly since the late 1940s.
Some of the species that make their home in the Malahvia forest are
already endangered and still more are on the verge of becoming
The forest of Malahvia is part of a green belt of old-growth
forests in Finland and an inseparable part of one of the most
important hot spots of boreal biodiversity in Scandinavia and
north-western Russia. Its natural features should be maintained and
enhanced rather than further logged and fragmented.
According to research conducted by authorities working for the
same government that plans to log this area, similar numbers of
endangered species are found in only a few places in Finland.
Reports by the environmental authorities go on to say that "...this
is a forest site of major importance even on a national scale,
whose diverse insect fauna and other endangered species will be
saved only if no further fragmentation takes place."
Local residents have appealed to the Finnish Ministry of the
Environment and the logging company Metsahallitus not to log the
forests in the area. But bulldozers already carved two forestry
roads into the area in December and logging operations are about to
start any day now.
write to the three biggest customers of Finnish forest
destruction, StoraEnso, UPM-Kymmene and M-Real and ask them to
say "NO" to ancient forest destruction.
a European bear e-card to a friend.