“No to the primeval forest,” Aftenposten wrote. Fortunately, a lot has happened in 30 years.

“No to the primeval forest,” Aftenposten wrote.  Fortunately, a lot has happened in 30 years.

For the species out there, in the forests, seas, swamps and mountains, there is only one thing they will do: work. This was written by Anne Sverdrup Thygesson (pictured).

But now what?

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From knowledge grows commitment and action, and the NRK Series «Admin“It is precisely a handful of realistic seeds, spread over people. Through the four episodes, it becomes increasingly clear that the natural crisis is something we have to deal with in the here and now.

TV series, news stories and discussion posts are important for a broad and democratic conversation about the nature crisis. Likewise, international action, such as the 2022 Global Convention on Nature or reports from the Commission on Nature, is essential – to establish the state of knowledge and point to solutions.

But for the species out there, in the forests, seas, swamps and mountains, only one thing will do: an act. Changes in the way we build and use nature.

So: what can and should we do? What is the role of the media, what should politicians change? How can you and I help slow the natural crisis?

“We have a lot of nature”

The typical counterargument when it comes to protecting nature is the somewhat ignorant “well, we have too much nature” argument. We find this argument again in a legendary editorial published in Aftenposten in March 1990.

The leader is called “No to the Primeval Forest” and exudes a lack of knowledge and a human-centric view of nature. It is claimed here that the trip shows that we have enough forests in Norway and therefore do not need protection at all.

Leader of Aftenposten on March 28, 1990.

Leader of Aftenposten on March 28, 1990.

It does not help old-growth forest species that we have huge areas of planted production forests. Although both types of forests have trees.

Because the primeval forest, or what we have left of it, is largely full of life: small insects and larger animals, fungi and plants. In fact, 40 percent out everyone Endangered species in Norway depend on these forests close to nature. They do not find the living conditions they need in the production forest, where we grow timber.

Good access to food and warm summers are qualities that we and many other species value. This nature often contains unique species, species that cannot live elsewhere. It is also in these areas that we humans have expanded further. Therefore, not much of this rich and unique nature remains. On the contrary, there is a need to restore the destroyed nature.

The authorities must take the necessary measures

Wholesome nature is also about landscaping and physical contact. Just as we humans want to have access to roads between the places we live, species in nature also need to be able to move between potential habitats.

It becomes difficult when nature is broken into parts, fragmented, by all our interventions.

Anne Sverdrup Thygeson

Professor of Biology at NMBU and author of books on forests and nature.

This applies to species of all sizes and degrees of charisma. From the wild reindeer in the mountains, whose habitat is being chopped up by our cabins and roads, to the small, inconspicuous mushrooms and creepers that need the ancient natural forest.

Ultimately, it becomes impossible for these species to find a new and necessary habitat when these islands become small, deserted, isolated in a sea of ​​human-altered landscapes.

Today, nature is so easy to build up and degrade, it's a “house party alone” for developers and companies, with very little overall control. So the obvious change is to put more management in place. Environmental authorities and nature arguments must engage to a much stronger degree in spatial politics, at all levels.

At the national level, our elected representatives must take it upon themselves to comply with the Global Convention on Nature. Norway, as a rich and prosperous country, has a unique opportunity to lead the way, and show the way to the social change we must achieve.

Take forests as an example. In the European Union, the protection of all remaining primeval and natural forests has been adopted, with the requirement that all these forests be mapped by 2025 and protected by 2030. A follow-up has also been proposed in Norway, and is urgent.

Finding and protecting the most important parts of the natural forest, including forests on richer lands that need restoration, would be a concrete action of great importance for threatened species in Norway.

All nature in one municipality

At the local level, the State should establish more stringent requirements regarding municipal nature management. As in health policy: municipalities have a responsibility to provide quality health services to everyone who needs them, and the state has a responsibility to ensure that this happens. Few believe this poses a threat to local democracy.

The “health” of nature, whether the degradation of nature or the ecological state of nature, must be taken seriously. Then clearer frameworks are needed.

Better nature maps, nature accountability at the municipal level, and cadastral neutrality must be developed

You can't take care of something you don't know where it is. Better nature maps, nature accountability at the municipal level, and cadastral neutrality must be developed. It also means that old development plans must be reviewed again and “washed” in light of new, greener principles.

Do you want to give your voice to voiceless species?

The weakest part of “The Caretaker” is the final episode called “The Resolution.” Here, NRK could have usefully highlighted several solutions. Put some national politicians on the wall. I spoke with social scientists about ways to accelerate change. List several ways you can get involved.

Because nature fans are increasing, but more are needed. Want to talk about the silent issue of species diversity in society?

Get involved in an environmental organization, write for the local newspaper, or join a municipal council. Regardless of their political affiliations, all parties must have a strong environmental program. It is about our common foundation of life.

The International Commission on Nature points out that an important cause of the global nature crisis is the way we value nature. In order to solve the nature crisis, we must move away from short-term economic gains trumping all other considerations and values ​​in political decisions. We have to think differently.

The refusal to reduce natural space is at the same time a yes to many other things

We have to think about who we actually are sheep When we believe in nature.

The Supervisor concludes that there must be more of us who say no to downsizing, and there are not more people. I would like to twist it: because the refusal to reduce natural space is at the same time a yes to many other things.

It is a blessing and thanks to the diversity of species, which helps us live. It is a yes to a stronger nature, more resilient to climate change, and a yes to powerful natural experiences, outdoor living, inspiration and learning opportunities. Not least of which is that it is a resounding blessing for securing natural heritage and a good life for future generations as well.

I wish more municipalities, residents and politicians at all levels would say yes to all of this, and that too through action!

The historian was interviewed by Bård Tufte Johansen in the first episode of the NRK series “Oppsynsmannen”.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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