“Hi, would you like to have your photograph taken to help protect the Great Northern Forest?”

Earlier this year, we  took to the streets to ask people this very question. Our dream is that the critical forest landscapes in this beautiful forest should be protected. Not just for the unique species that call it home, but also to stabilise the planet’s climate for us all.

Forest near Lake Blecktjärnen in SwedenWhat's at risk - beautiful forest in Sweden 

We know it can be done, but we can’t do it alone.

Many of the people behind this dream couldn’t come with us in person, so we took their portraits with us to help keep an eye on one of the last remaining truly wild forests in Sweden and prevent it from being logged.

Giant Portraits in Swedish High Value Forest Threatened by LoggingThe faces of people defending the forest

Nearly 300 people are with us: the faces of young and old, of all genders, colours and backgrounds.

Giant Portraits in Swedish High Value Forest Threatened by LoggingGiant portraits guard the forest

These last remaining truly wild forests are under serious threat, both here in Sweden, and all across the Great Northern Forest. Our research found that this exact spot could be logged any day now.

Across from us is a stark reminder of what’s at risk: a mangled and barren clearcut where a similar green forest once stood.

That’s why we’re here.

Aerial View of Forest and Clear Cut in SwedenClear cut forest in Sweden

As I walk through this beautiful, biodiverse forest, it’s truly inspiring to see the diversity of the faces of people who also believe these unique places should be protected. I’m reminded of their voices too. “To save old forests is to save old wisdom and future life,” says Karl from Sweden. I pass by a photo of Anna-Kaisa from Finland who says, “Without forests, we have no roots.”

Giant Portraits in Swedish High Value Forest Threatened by LoggingPortraits of forest protectors

These forests are our route to a hopeful future; a future where biodiversity flourishes and the global climate is stable.

Protecting them will take a movement of people ready to stand and act together.

Even if you couldn’t be in the forest with us today, you can join the movement asking Europe’s largest tissue giant Essity to stop wiping away the Great Northern Forest.

Ethan Gilbert is a volunteer coordinator with Greenpeace Nordic