Today, 21 March, is UN International Day of Forests. SCA, Europe’s largest private forest owner, welcomes the UN’s efforts to highlight the benefits provided by forests and encourages member states to plant more trees.
“Today, our nurseries produce some 100 million new trees a year and we’re set to reforest large areas in the Baltics and contribute to a more systematic replanting culture,” says Jonas Mårtensson, Director of SCA’s Forest business area.
The theme for this year’s International Day of Forests is forests and health. The UN is calling on member states to implement local, national and international initiatives to organise activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.
As Europe’s largest private forest owner, this is what SCA does on a daily basis and with our SCA NorrPlant initiative – which includes Bogrundet and Wifstamon’s nurseries in Timrå municipality in central Sweden – SCA supplies roughly 100 million new trees every year.
“It is growing trees that creates climate benefits and ensures our communities will be supplied with climate-smart bio-raw materials in the future. That’s why the single most important rule in forestry is to always replant. Generally, we plant two to three saplings for every felled tree, and that’s how we secure and preferably expand the stock of forest,” says Jonas Mårtensson.
On its website, the UN lists a number of key messages linked to the International Day of Forests. These include major challenges such as shrinking forests due to deforestation, fires, and infestation by insects.
“Approximately 70 per cent of Sweden’s land area is forest and we have become twice as rich in timber in the past 100 years with more and thicker trees. The key to this is nurseries and systematic replanting. We think this is a rule that should be applied wherever forestry is conducted to ensure that forests always regrow,” explains Jonas Mårtensson.
Sweden’s approach to replanting is something that SCA will also apply within the auspices of the company’s recently acquired land in the Baltics. SCA owns approximately 70,000 hectares of land in the Baltics, of which around 59,000 hectares is forest land, and a smaller proportion is arable land that will be reforested.
“Parts of the forest we acquired are well managed, other parts are more neglected and parts are poorer quality arable land that we will restore and reforest. We hope to provide growing and better managed forests that bind substantial quantities of carbon dioxide and provide raw material for renewable products that replace products with larger carbon footprints,” says Jonas Mårtensson.
Photo: Michael Engman