Greenpeace activists occupy headquarters of government logging service

Feature story - 16 April, 2002
Yesterday Greenpeace activists began a five day protest at the state-owned Finnish Forest Park Services headquarters near the Finnish capital.

Clearcut of Finnish state-owned, old growth forest.

Thousands of people pass the headquarters everyday on one of the biggest commuter traffic railways.

Early on Monday morning, four Finnish activists climbed the glass-tower of the Forest Park Service. Two of the climbers, Kalle and Tuomas, will stay up in the tower until Friday, the last day of government negotiations at the Ancient Forest Summit in the Hague.

Update by Tuomas, Greenpeace activist:

Tuesday, 16 April: Second day in the tower. Night was not too warm, the temperature around plus one degrees Celsius. Not a big deal, though. My sleeping bag is designed for outdoor use, I used the same one this winter during our forest demonstrations in the northeast of Finland where we had below -20 C some days and nights. But the days are bright sunny.

This morning the Forest Service staff had a meeting 10 cm from us on the other side of the windows, but they closed the curtains, carefully. Did not want to see us and our banners.

I am studying in eastern Finland in Kainuu-institute, aiming to graduate as a wilderness guide this summer. Greenpeace has had a series of protests against the destruction of Finnish state-owned forests, especially in the region of Kainuu this past winter. I have been involved in these actions with two friends from the institute.

We think that enough old-growth forests have already been clearcut in Finland.

There is too little left for the landscape, biodiversity and for the other forms of forest use. Nature-oriented tourism is a growing sector in Finland. I do not believe that in the future people want to travel to Finland to witness raped landscape with clearcuts, young stands of forests and the ever-increasing forest road network.

And it's not only tourism. It is also about the characterists of my home country. Finland is a land of forests. That must not mean a land of clearcuts.