1. End to the exploitation of nature – forests and biodiversity come first.
We call for a fair transition to a region-by-region reduction of logging to sustainable levels both ecologically and climate-wise (1). The government must immediately protect all natural forests (2), protect 30% of Finland's land and water areas (3) and permanently increase carbon sinks (4).
2. Cut subsidies that are destructive to the environment and climate, not from the poor.
We call on the government not to cut the budget for nature conservation or social security, but to target cuts on subsidies that are harmful to the environment and climate, and on tax breaks for the rich. At a time of ecological crisis, the government must support the most vulnerable groups, such people with a low income, the sick, the disabled, asylum seekers and refugees. (5)
1. Logging levels should be set at a maximum of 60 million cubic metres per year (1
), which is considered to be ecologically sustainable.
2. Natural forest is a collective term for forests in their natural state and those old-growth forests that are similar to forests in their natural state.
3. Currently, about 10%
of Finland's surface area is protected, and only slightly more than 6% of Finland's forests are permanently protected from logging. Further protection must be carried out on a region-by-region basis, i.e. equally for each region, so that the protection network extends comprehensively throughout Finland. Additional protection must be representative of the different habitat types and interlinked as much as possible, targeting areas rich in biodiversity. Protection must be implemented in a way that respects the Sámi people's right to self-determination and land use. Support for and preparation of projects that degrade the state of the forests in Sápmi must be stopped.
4. The carbon sink and carbon storage must be increased as much as possible, as Finland and all other countries must become carbon negative societies after becoming carbon neutral. Achieving carbon negativity is essential for humanity to maintain a viable planet. Only by becoming carbon negative can atmospheric CO2 levels and average temperatures be brought down and the damage caused be partially reversed.
5. In ecological reconstruction, the workforce will be redirected to jobs of particular ecological and social value, and particularly polluting industries will be phased out. Workers and primary producers in the sectors to be phased out must be provided with the necessary economic and social support and retraining opportunities. We must build a society of degrowth, where over-consumption and pollution are not even desirable, and a more meaningful life and sustainable work is possible for all.
Finnish nature can only be protected in Finland
Biodiversity loss is not accelerating, it is being accelerated. The climate is not getting hotter, it is being heated. The heaviest of Finland's debt burdens, the ecological debt, is being stretched to unsustainable proportions. In recent years, our political leaders and Metsähallitus, which manages state forests, have destroyed our carbon sinks by chopping them up mainly for pulp and energy.
Every second habitat type in Finland is endangered, and so are as much as three quarters of forest habitats. Around one third of all endangered species in Finland, 833 species, live primarily in forests.
The main single cause of this is the current intensive forestry for pulp production, where excessive logging, especially clear-cutting and similar operations, has led to habitat fragmentation and degradation and the collapse of carbon sinks.
Carbon sinks and storages
We have to recognise that our forest resources are not enough for everything. We call for a fair transition, where logging rates are reduced on a region-by-region basis to sustainable levels both ecologically and climate-wise.
The Finnish government must listen to the state's own research institutes and scientific panels, and enable the carbon sinks to recover quickly and increase permanently – the sustainable annual logging level in Finland cannot be much higher than 60 million cubic metres. In 2022, the logging level was 75 million cubic metres.
In addition to reviving carbon sinks, Finland must start to permanently increase them in order to achieve carbon negativity. Only by becoming carbon negative can atmospheric CO2 levels and average temperatures be brought down and the damage caused be partially reversed.
This and the coming decades are critical to halting global heating and maintaining the viability of many regions of the Global South. The faster, the larger and the more permanent the carbon storages become, the more carbon we will get out of the atmosphere.
Protect the natural forests and 30% of the area
In order to halt the loss of nature, the government must immediately protect all natural forests, i.e. natural and semi-natural forests. However, this is not enough to achieve the 30% protection target. In addition to natural forests, it is also necessary to protect and restore forests that have been heavily managed by humans, so that they form large units together with fragmented small areas of natural forests throughout Finland.
In addition, the protection of Finland's land and water areas must be increased from the current 10% to 30%. This additional protection must be done on a region-by-region basis, in a balanced way, so that the protection network covers the whole of Finland. Protection must be implemented in a way that respects the Sámi people's right to self-determination and land use.
Humane environmental policy
The ecocrisis is currently escalating around the globe. Finland, as part of the Global North, has grown its economy at the expense of nature, the climate and the Global South.
At the same time, Finland is treating the people fleeing conflicts and environmental disasters fuelled by the climate crisis in an inhumane way. In addition to racist migration and border policies, Orpo's government is planning massive cuts in development cooperation.
In the midst of an ecological crisis, the government must support the most vulnerable groups. This includes people with a low income, the sick, the disabled, asylum seekers and refugees.
Finland must also pay its climate debt to the Global South and stop supporting neo-colonial forestry. Support for and preparation of projects that degrade the state of forests in Sápmi must be stopped.
The cuts to social security and nature conservation funding drawn up by the Orpo-led government are claimed to be a compulsory adaptation measure. At the same time, however, the state is giving almost 4 billion euros a year in subsidies that are harmful to the climate and the environment. Moreover, the government is continuing to increase the amount of these subsidies while it has decided to reduce taxes to the rich.
The Orpo-run government has made a political choice to increase inequality and accelerate the ecocrisis, when what we need is the opposite. We demand that the government does not cut the budget for nature conservation or social security, but targets cuts on subsidies that are harmful to the environment and the climate, and to tax breaks for the rich.
Finland must immediately begin an ecological reconstruction that will bring our forestry and our entire society within planetary limits. This requires cutting back on sectors that are harmful to the environment and climate, and redirecting labour towards ecologically and societally valuable work, such as restoration and care.
At the same time, it is important to provide the necessary financial and social support for workers who lose their jobs as a result of the transition, and to make it possible for them to retrain. The aim is to create a society of degrowth, where over-consumption and pollutive actions are not even desirable, and a more meaningful life and sustainable work is possible for all.
Love & rage
Elokapina needs you to shake up decision-makers, the government, the media and your fellow citizens out of their apathy in the face of a disaster the size of a biosphere. Through their direct action and unapologetically, the rebels are constantly exposing who, what actions and what structures are responsible for the ecocrisis, and who stands in the way of containing it.
Mobilizing large numbers of people and organizing is the strategy we have chosen to carry out the fundamental large-scale ecological reconstruction needed to make life possible in its many forms in an overheated world.
Through the Forest Rebellion, we are highlighting the problems with Finland's forest policy. We are working to make it nationally and globally more just, and ecologically and socially more sustainable. Rise up for forests, nature and justice! This is what we must do, because no one else will do it for us. In this situation, we all have a choice: we can consent – or we can rebel.
Following in a box:
⧖ WHY REBEL? ⧖
REBELLING IS EFFECTIVE
Studies have shown that demonstrations really do change the minds of decision-makers and the general public. Rebellion precedes change. We have the power to change the world!
REBELLING IS OUR DUTY
Living in Finland, we are part of a culture of overconsumption based on global inequality and injustice. It is the responsibility of everyone who benefits from this to take action to change the social and economic structures that perpetuate this culture of overconsumption.
REBELLING IS EMPOWERING
As a society, we can significantly reduce our consumption. At the same time, we can improve our quality of life. In the Forest Rebellion, we demonstrate and experience together the kind of change needed for a meaningful and truly sustainable life. Action is the best cure for environmental anxiety.
Join the rebellion! Collectively, our voice will resonate more widely – loudly but gently. Register at metsäkapina.fi
Thank you for reading,
participating, and above all,
💚 Rebelling 💚