• No results found

Sweden’s Environmental Objectives in Brief [2009]

N/A
N/A
Protected

Academic year: 2021

Share "Sweden’s Environmental Objectives in Brief [2009]"

Copied!
36
0
0

Loading.... (view fulltext now)

Full text

(1)

ISBN

978-91-620-1273-1

ISSN

1654-4641

IN BRIEF...

Reduced Climate Impact, A Non-Toxic

Environment, Sustainable Forests and A

Rich Diversity of Plant and Animal Life are

just a few of the 16 environmental quality

objectives that have been adopted to guide

environmental efforts in Sweden and to help

ensure that future generations can grow up

in a clean, healthy environment. These goals

have been set by the Swedish Parliament

and are to be achieved by 2020. They cover

every major environmental issue and provide

a basis for the action needed to improve

the state of the environment. To meet

them, everyone must play their part – from

government and industry to organizations

and individuals.

Now, at the halfway stage, things are moving in the right direction in many areas, but the pace of

progress is not sufficient. More than half of the environmental quality objectives are judged to be

very difficult or not possible to attain on time. In the case of the objectives relating to climate, the

marine environment, a non-toxic environment and biodiversity, moreover, there is a risk of sudden or

irreversible environmental changes. The current global economic crisis offers an opportunity to make

investments that will benefit the environment, provided that they are channelled into more

energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable systems and products.

‘sweden’s environmental objectives in brief’ is published by the swedish environmental objectives council. the council, appointed by the swedish government, monitors environmental trends and evaluates efforts to achieve the objectives. more information can be found on the environmental objectives portal,

www.miljomal.se.

2009

. . . a n d a s u m m a r y o f t h e

e n v i r o n m e n t a l o b j e c t i v e s c o u n c i l ’ s p r o g r e s s r e p o r t

S w e d e n ’ s e n v i r o n m e n t a l

objectives

(2)

Explore Sweden’s environmental objectives for yourself

The Environmental Objectives Portal – the website of the Environmental Objectives Council – brings

together a host of information on Sweden’s environmental quality objectives. Here you can find out

about the actual objectives, why they are needed, and what is being done to achieve them. The site

also presents the indicators that are used to track progress towards the environmental quality objectives

and interim targets, to assess whether efforts to attain them are moving in the right direction.

www.miljomal.se

published by:

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

address for orders:

CM Gruppen, Box 11093, SE-161 11 Bromma, Sweden

telephone:

+46 8 5059 3340

fax

: +46 8 5059 3399

email:

natur@cm.se

online

: www.naturvardsverket.se/bokhandeln

isbn

978-91-620-1273-1

issn

1654-4641

© Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

editors:

Andreas Nilsson/Vetenskapsjournalisterna and Hans Hellberg/HH Reportage

english translation:

Martin Naylor

illustrations of objectives:

Tobias Flygar

other illustrations:

AB Typoform

cover photo:

Anna Larsson/Johnér

inside photos:

p. 3 Mats Widén/Johnér, p. 4 Johan Wingborg, Hasse Eriksson, p. 5 Stig Hammerstedt/

Scanpix, p. 6 Susanne Kronholm/Johnér, p. 9 Malte Danielsson/Johnér, p. 10 Mårten Dahlfors/Johnér,

p. 11 Elliot Elliot/Johnér, p. 12 Peder Björkegren/Johnér, p. 13 Hans Bjurling/Johnér, p. 14 Lena

Granefelt/Johnér, p. 15 Per Magnus Persson/Johnér, p. 16 Mats C:son/Scanpix, p. 18 Göran Assner/

Johnér, p. 19 Jeppe Wikström/Johnér, p. 21 Tiero Niemi/Johnér, p. 22 Ulf Huett Nilsson/Johnér,

p. 23 Johan Ödmann/Johnér, p. 24 Hans Geijer/Johnér, p. 25 Scanpix, p. 26 Kenneth Bengtsson/Johnér,

p. 28 Mark Earthy/Scanpix, p. 29 Bengt Hedberg

design:

AB Typoform/Marie Peterson

printed by:

Davidsons Tryckeri AB, Taberg Media Group, June 2009

number of copies:

5,000

This booklet is a summary of the Environmental Objectives Council’s Progress Report 2009

Contents

1

2

7

8

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

30

32

objectives for a better environment

the environmental objectives – a challenge for everyone

efforts to meet the objectives are progressing – but not quickly enough

overall assessment by the environmental objectives council

Reduced Climate Impact

Clean Air

Natural Acidification Only

A Non-Toxic Environment

A Protective Ozone Layer

A Safe Radiation Environment

Zero Eutrophication

Flourishing Lakes and Streams

Good-Quality Groundwater

A Balanced Marine Environment, Flourishing Coastal Areas and Archipelagos

Thriving Wetlands

Sustainable Forests

A Varied Agricultural Landscape

A Magnificent Mountain Landscape

A Good Built Environment

A Rich Diversity of Plant and Animal Life

measures and instruments for change

sweden’s environmental quality objectves – the situation in brief

the environmental objectives council

(3)

1  

Sweden has set goals for the future state of its environment. They are built around 16 environmental qual-

ity objectives, adopted by the Swedish Parliament with the aim of ensuring that, by 2020, the country’s

major environmental problems have been solved. These objectives are a promise to future generations of

clean air, healthy environments in which to live, and rich opportunities to enjoy nature.

To meet the goals laid down, everyone in Swedish society needs to play their part – from authorities and

businesses to organizations and individuals. Efforts to achieve them have become an increasingly natural

part of the development of our society. Government agencies and local authorities are integrating the

various objectives into their operations, and companies are incorporating relevant aspects of them in their

environmental management systems. Regular evaluations provide vital information on the state of the

country’s environment and the measures and priorities needed to improve it.

In this report we describe the wide-ranging collaborative effort now under way to implement the

environ-mental quality objectives, together with our assessment of the prospects of attaining them by 2020. Much

has been achieved. However, if these goals are to be met, a good deal more must be done and many

changes made, in Sweden, at the EU level and around the world.

Investing in the environment is a form of welfare policy. It brings benefits for public health, biodiversity,

cultural heritage, the long-term productivity of ecosystems, wise management of natural resources – and

hence our long-term economic development.

Hopefully, what we are doing in Sweden can inspire other countries as we work together to achieve

sustainable development.

Objectives for a better environment

Eva Eriksson

(4)

Within one generation, Sweden’s most significant environmental prob-lems are to be solved. To meet that challenge, the system of environ-mental objectives shares responsibil-ity among different stakeholders and levels of decision making in society. National environmental quality objec-tives and interim targets, along with regional and local goals, form a basis for defining measures and priorities, to ensure that everyone plays their part and pulls in the same direction.

The environmental objectives describe the quality of the environ-ment that we want to achieve. They represent the ecological dimension of sustainable development, based on the quality and state of the Swedish environment and its natural and cul-tural resources that are sustainable in the long term.

The objectives are thus an important starting point for achieving both a better environment and a sus-tainable society. They are not laid down by law, but nevertheless define the direction of efforts throughout Swedish society to safeguard the environment.

National objectives . . .

The national environmental quality objectives were adopted by the Swed-ish Parliament, the Riksdag, in 1999. Sweden now has goals of this kind covering 16 different areas. Three cross-cutting issues related to these objectives – The Cultural Environment,

Human Health, and Land Use Planning

and Wise Management of Land, Water and

Buildings – are also being addressed. The objectives are to be met by 2020, i.e. within a generation of their being adopted (2050 as a first step in the case of the climate objective).

For each environmental quality objective, interim targets have been adopted, detailing what needs to be done by specific dates if it is to be attained. For example, a given type of harmful emission may need to be reduced to a stated level by 2010. In all, there are some 70 such targets linked to the 16 objectives.

. . . regional objectives . . .

The national goals have also been translated into regional terms. All of Sweden’s counties have regional objectives for the environment. County administrative boards seek to ensure that these goals have an impact in their areas and monitor pro-gress towards them. They have a key role to play in driving and coordinat-ing regional efforts, and also provide local authorities with data and other

support for local goals and action programmes. Regional objectives are of particular importance as a basis for regional development, growth and structural fund programmes.

. . . and local objectives

Increasingly, local authorities are adapting the national and regional en-vironmental objectives to their local situations and basing their sustainable development policies on them. With their responsibility for local develop-ment and a good living environdevelop-ment, they have considerable scope to shape what happens in their areas through the planning of land use and the built environment. They also have other functions with a bearing on the objectives, from education and waste management to supervision of chem- ical products under the

Environ-The environmental objectives

– a challenge for everyone

RIKSDAG DECISION ENVIRONMENTAL OBJECTIVES IMPLEMENTATION OF IN ANNUAL MONITORING OF GOVERNMENT EVALUATION EVERY 4HE FOLLOWED OBJECTIVES MEASURES IMPLEMENTED

the environmental quality

objectives are intended to:

• promote human health • safeguard biodiversity and the natural environment • preserve the cultural environ-ment and cultural heritage • maintain long-term ecosystem productivity and • ensure wise management of natural resources

(5)

3  

mental Code and licensing of single-household sewage systems and certain environmentally hazardous activities.

Follow-up and evaluation

Implementation of the objectives is reviewed every year. To assess whether things are moving in the right direction, use is made of indi-cators reflecting progress towards the various environmental quality objec-tives and interim targets. There are currently around 100 such indicators, based on regular sampling, question-naires and other studies of the state of the environment. They are updated annually on the Environmental Objectives Portal, www.miljomal.se.

Every four years, a larger-scale evaluation of efforts to reach the objectives is carried out. In that con-text, the bodies responsible propose new or revised interim targets and measures to achieve the goals set. These proposals are submitted to the Government and form a basis for decisions in various policy areas. All decisions to adopt new and revised targets are taken by the Riksdag.

Lead agencies

Seven government agencies have been designated by the Government as lead agencies for one or more of the 16 national environmental quality object-ives, and three as lead agencies for the related cross-cutting issues (see list on page 32). It is their job to promote progress towards the objectives and ensure that the cross-cutting issues are taken into account. Likewise, county administrative boards around the coun-try have been given the role of regional lead agencies.

To integrate the environmental objectives more fully into society as a whole, a number of agencies have in addition been given a special

sec-toral responsibility for them, based on the principle that every sector must play its part in safeguarding the environment. Such bodies include the Swedish Energy Agency, the Swedish Road Administration and the Swedish Consumer Agency.

Concerted action

Achieving the environmental object-ives is a major collaborative challenge, requiring the involvement of every part of society. The business sector’s role is very important. Environmental and other NGOs can shape public opinion and promote understanding of the changes needed to meet the objectives. And individuals can make a major contribution through their

choices in areas such as travel, hous-ing and food.

A coordinating role

Efforts to achieve the environmental quality objectives are coordinated by the Environmental Objectives Coun-cil, which reviews progress towards them and reports to the Government. The Council, appointed by the Government, draws its members from central government agencies and county administrative boards. It also has a number of experts attached to it, representing local authorities, en-vironmental NGOs and the business community. Its Secretariat is based at the Swedish Environmental Protec-tion Agency.

(6)

The Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Road Administration are two of the 16 government agen-cies entrusted with a special sectoral responsibility for the country’s en-vironmental objectives. Part of that responsibility is to encourage all stakeholders in their sectors – energy and road transport – to make the environment an integral aspect of their activities and thus help to attain goals such as Reduced Climate Impact.

The scope of the task is very wide, touching on many sectors of society, says Thomas Levander, who heads efforts to implement the objectives at the Energy Agency:

‘Energy use is the hub around which the economy revolves. The main benefit of our sector-wide responsibility is that it enables us to take system effects into account and make sure action is taken where it will do most good. To get the neces-sary knowledge and information across, we are building networks that allow us to work on a broad basis, through other stakeholders. That way, we can have a much greater impact than we could if we relied on our own resources alone.’

Lower carbon dioxide emissions

Sweden has managed to cut its emis-sions of carbon dioxide by 9% since 1990, partly by switching from fossil to renewable fuels for heating. The Energy Agency has helped by provid-ing the country’s local authorities with the know-how they need to promote greater sustainability, both in their own use of energy and through energy and climate advice to the many households that want to play their part.

‘We also make use of policy instru-ments that we develop in dialogue with industry, including renewable certificates and emissions trading schemes that favour renewable energy,’ says Levander. ‘In addition, we encourage improvements in energy efficiency in industry – here, a range of projects have so far saved a billion kilowatt-hours, and proved very profit-able for the companies concerned.’

Research programmes co-funded with the business sector are another way of speeding the transition to a lower-carbon society. Up to now, such work has for example helped to put efficient heat pumps and energy-efficient refrigerators firmly on the market. One current focus of research is on developing demonstration plants for renewable motor fuels.

Clear goals for

environmental action

A broad approach involving a wide range of stakehold- ers is something Ingemar Skogö, Director General of the Swedish Road Administra-tion, also sets great store by:

‘Stakeholder involvement a key to tackling climate change’

Turning the tide and reducing our influence on climate is one of the biggest chal-lenges to today’s society. Much has been achieved in Sweden by giving public agen-cies responsibility for safeguarding the environment in their respective sectors. A broad approach, working through other stakeholders, makes for more effective action.

Alongside the lead agencies for the environmental quality objectives, the Riksdag has given a number of government agencies a special responsibility to work for progress towards the objectives in their respec-tive sectors. These agencies are to promote environmentally sustainable development by encouraging stake-holders in the sectors concerned to integrate environmental concerns into their activities, thereby reducing the sectors’ adverse impacts on the environment and enhancing their beneficial impacts. Currently, the following agencies have this role:

Sectoral responsibility

for the environment

swedish rail administration national board of housing, building and planning swedish energy agency swedish board of fisheries swedish armed forces swedish board of agriculture swedish consumer agency swedish transport agency swedish agency for economic and regional growth

national heritage board swedish forest agency

swedish international development cooperation agency (sida)

swedish maritime administration swedish road administration national food administration medical products agency

(7)

5  

‘It allows us to take an integrated view of transport, and gives us a large interface with society. As part of our sectoral responsibility, we engage both with local authorities and county ad- ministrative boards, and with the motor vehicle industry, fuel producers and individual drivers. For example, we are bringing together truck makers and the logistics sector to find ways of curbing emissions from freight transport.’

A key advantage with the envir-onmental objectives, according to Skogö, is that they make it very clear what politicians are trying to achieve by their overall environmental pol-icies. His own agency is given annual targets for cuts in Swedish road trans-port emissions and for action on other environmental issues, such as noise, air quality and cultural heritage.

‘In 2008, we managed to reduce total carbon dioxide emissions from road transport by 2%, partly thanks to measures that have encouraged wider use of biofuels and more fuel-efficient vehicles, as well as wider adherence to speed limits.’

An initiative by the Road Admin-istration to highlight energy-efficient driving as a way of cutting fuel con-sumption has also been a success. Today, ‘eco-driving’ is a mandatory part of learner driver training in Sweden.

Decision support for politicians

Agencies with special sectoral responsibility also supply the Govern-ment with basic data and analysis for policy decisions that will enable the environmental objectives to be met. The Road Administration has, for instance, laid the foundations for a definition of a ‘clean vehicle’ and is providing various decision support data for a Government overhaul of vehicle tax, based on vehicles’ carbon dioxide emissions.

The Energy Agency, for its part, has the important task of supporting the Swedish Government in advance of the negotiations on a new interna-tional climate agreement at the UN meeting in Copenhagen at the end of 2009. One thing Sweden wants to show is that it is possible to reduce

emissions and to set ambitious cli-mate targets, without sacrificing eco-nomic growth.

‘We are one of the few countries where releases of carbon dioxide are actually falling, and the Swedish Government’s national emission tar-gets for the years ahead go beyond those we’ve been allocated within the EU,’ Thomas Levander points out.

The Government’s proposed target for 2020 is for emissions from sectors not covered by the EU’s emissions trading scheme to be cut by 40%, compared with 1990. The goal for 2050 is that Sweden should have no net emissions of carbon dioxide at all.

‘To meet those targets, further investments are needed to improve energy efficiency and promote renew-able energy,’ says Levander. ‘We will also have to be even more active in involving stakeholders in our sectors – to give us even more “climate ambassadors” working on a broad front to halt climate change.’

(8)

At the end of 2008, the northern Swedish municipality of Hudiksvall adopted objectives for its local envir-onment, making it one of the good third of Sweden’s local authorities that have set such goals, based on national or regional objectives.

Hudiksvall’s environmental objec-tives were drafted by working groups that included people from local firms and interest organizations. A steering group made up of party and council committee representatives ensured broad support, politically and among local residents, for the objectives and the action needed to achieve them.

‘It has taken time – a couple of years – but now everyone can feel that they’ve been involved,’ Terent comments. ‘That increases the chances of the goal documents actually being used, rather than ending up on a shelf gathering dust.’

Regional dialogue

Alongside local authority efforts, important work is being done at the regional level. Sweden’s 21 county

administrative boards have drawn up regional environmental objectives and are responsible for adapting and fleshing out the national goals, taking into account conditions in their coun-ties and municipalicoun-ties. Ambitious regional objectives lend an impetus to environmental protection both locally and nationally, by securing regional and local improvements in the envir-onment.

The regional level is an important meeting place for a broad dialogue on environmental objectives between industry, local authorities and NGOs, Terent explains.

‘We want to make the links be-tween our local environmental goals and the regional ones clearer. So we are acting on the county administra-tive board’s suggestion that we enter into an agreement with it on meas-ures to attain these objectives. That will give a greater focus to our work

and create more scope for a partner-ship to achieve them.’

Good for local business

Hudiksvall’s local objectives include increasing the share of ‘clean ve-hicles’ in the local authority’s fleet, restoring rivers, ensuring that the council buys more organic food, and using renewable fuels to heat homes in the area.

Åsa Terent points out that goals of this kind can in fact benefit local firms: targets to reduce transport demand, for instance, can mean more business for local suppliers.

‘Action to safeguard the envir-onment is no longer regarded as an obstacle to local business develop-ment and new jobs. These days, it is seen as a growth factor, a sign that you’re a forward-looking municipality, keen to attract people and businesses to the area.’

‘A boost to local environmental protection

Developing local goals for the en-vironment encour-ages dialogue and commitment on environmental issues among the residents and busi-nesses of an area. Åsa Terent, who is employed by one of Sweden’s municipal authorities to implement the country’s environmental objectives at the local level, believes that they make for a more strategic approach to the envir-onment and, what is more, can bring benefits for the local economy.

(9)

7  

In many areas, progress is being

made towards a better environment.

Public agencies, businesses,

envir-onmental organizations and

indivi-duals have all made valuable

contri-butions. And yet only one of the 16

environmental quality objectives,

A Protective Ozone Layer

, is judged

to be achievable within the defined

time frame. Six of them, A Safe

Radiation Environment

, Flourish-

ing Lakes and Streams

, Good-Quality

Groundwater

, Thriving Wetlands,

A Varied Agricultural Landscape

and

A Magnificent Mountain Landscape

,

are regarded as capable of being

realized if further action is taken.

The remaining objectives are consid-

ered very difficult or not possible

to meet on time, even if additional

measures are introduced. The

pros-pects look particularly bleak for the

climate objective, which also shows

a negative trend in terms of the

state of the environment.

Why so hard to achieve?

There are several reasons why the

environmental quality objectives

are proving difficult to achieve.

They are ambitiously worded;

pro-gress is very much dependent on

international developments; the

timescale of recovery in the natural

environment is long; and conflicts

of interest often prevent the

neces-sary measures being implemented.

To attain the objectives and

encourage sustainable development,

there needs to be a far-reaching

reorientation of society. Production

of goods and services must be geared

to what natural ecosystems are able

to withstand, land and water resources

must be managed more sustainably,

and investments must be made in

environmentally sounder energy

systems and infrastructure. Political

resolve is also essential, to address

conflicts of interest and set priorities

among different policy goals. In

addition, we all need to change our

habits and patterns of consumption

and adopt greener lifestyles.

On the following pages you will

find an outline of the

Environ-mental Objectives Council’s

assess-ment of progress towards the 16

environmental quality objectives.

Efforts to meet the objectives are

progressing – but not quickly enough

(10)

Action produces results

Comparing the state of the environ-ment today with that of 10–20 years ago, we see that much has changed for the better – thanks to valuable efforts by local authorities, county administrative boards and other agen-cies, as well as by businesses, non-governmental organizations and indi-viduals. This is true in areas such as protection of the ozone layer, action to tackle acidification, and protection of sites of high nature conservation interest. For several of the objectives, environmental trends remain positive. Action is producing results.

Despite this, more than half of the environmental quality objectives will be very difficult or not possible to meet on time. Compared with these overall objectives, however, the inte-rim targets present a more encour-aging picture. Some of them have already been met. Roughly 30 more are judged to be achievable by the

target year, although to meet many of them additional and more vigorous action will be required.

Adverse effects

of a changed climate

The environmental quality objective relating to climate is not expected to be achieved, and the Environmental Objectives Council notes that a changed climate will also have adverse consequences for several other objectives. The risk of sudden environmental changes increases with rising temperature, and many such changes may prove irreversible.

What is more, the demand for renewable energy arising from the need to curb greenhouse gas emis-sions may conflict with other goals, for example if there is an expansion of wind or hydroelectric power or if more timber and biofuels are extract-ed from forests in an unsustainable manner.

The climate issue will be in focus in 2009, with the UN meeting in Copenhagen in December and Sweden’s Presidency of the EU. A global agreement on an equitable allocation of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will be crucial to meeting the climate objective. At the same time, the Environmental Objectives Council notes that there is much that Sweden and the EU can do on their own.

Surveys show that the Swedish public want to see national action to curb emissions, and that they are ready to support companies that take a lead in addressing climate change. There is thus a political opportunity now to introduce the necessary measures.

Concerns over seas, toxic

chemicals and biodiversity

Despite considerable efforts over the last 30 years, the environmental status of both the Baltic and the Kat-tegat and Skagerrak remains poor,

Overall assessment by the

Environmental Objectives Council

• Trends in the environment are pointing in the right direction in many areas, but the pace of progress is not sufficient to achieve the environmental quality objectives by 2020. Measures at the national level should be supplemented with active efforts by Sweden to ensure that environmental factors are taken into account in international decisions, since various directives at the EU level, for instance, have implications for the Swedish environmental objectives. • The objectives relating to climate, the marine environment, a non-toxic environment and biodiversity are especially problematic. In these areas there is a considerable risk of sudden or irreversible environmental changes. Climate change in particular also threatens progress towards other environmental objectives. • Investments prompted by the economic crisis must be designed both to create jobs and to foster sustainable develop-ment, by promoting more energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable systems, infrastructure and technology, and also education. There is a high level of climate awareness among the Swedish public, as well as an acceptance of the need for action to secure improvements in the environment.

(11)

9  

with problems such as oxygen deple-tion, lifeless areas of the seabed, and threatened fish stocks. One hopeful sign, though, is that the eastern Bal-tic population of cod is recovering, demonstrating the key role cooper-ation between ncooper-ations often plays in safeguarding the environment. To achieve the marine environment objective, the Council notes that sharp cuts in nutrient inputs, a sustainable fisheries policy and reduced green-house gas emissions are called for.

Major problems also exist regard-ing the goal of A Non-Toxic

Envir-onment. Simultaneous exposure to a large number of dangerous chemicals is a cause for concern, as are releases of bioaccumulating and persistent substances. What is more, for most chemicals we lack the necessary information about the hazards they represent, their presence in differ-ent products, and human exposure to them at work and in the external environment. New problem sub- stances continue to be discovered. Even where sufficient knowledge

is available, far-reaching action is needed at several levels to phase out substances of very high concern.

Another challenge is biodiversity. Viable ecosystems provide a basis for continued supplies of food, forest biomass and fish, but to be able to use these resources in the long term, further measures to achieve sustain-ability are needed. Nature protection efforts have been intense in the last ten years, but even more must be done if several of the environmental quality objectives relevant to biodi-versity are to be attained.

4 2 6 7 5 million hectares A century of protection 1909 1919 1929 1939 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2008

source: swedish environmental protection agency

Mountain areas Montane coniferous forest

Forest 3

Sweden is celebrating 2009 as the ‘Year of Nature’, to mark the fact that it is 100 years since Sweden’s – and Europe’s – first national parks were established. Today, a total area of 6.9 million hectares is protected within the boundaries of national parks, nature reserves, nature conservation areas and Natura 2000 sites. 1 1914 1924 1934 1944 1954 1964 1974 1984 1994 2004 Fresh waters Sea areas Mires Farmland 4 2 6 7 5 million hectares A century of protection 1909 1919 1929 1939 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2008

source: swedish environmental protection agency

Mountain areas Montane coniferous forest

Forest 3

Sweden is celebrating 2009 as the ‘Year of Nature’, to mark the fact that it is 100 years since Sweden’s – and Europe’s – first national parks were established. Today, a total area of 6.9 million hectares is protected within the boundaries of national parks, nature reserves, nature conservation areas and Natura 2000 sites. 1 1914 1924 1934 1944 1954 1964 1974 1984 1994 2004 Fresh waters Sea areas Mires Farmland

(12)

Economic crisis

– threat or opportunity?

It is difficult to say whether the global economic crisis will be good or bad for the environment. The reduced emis-sions that often accompany a recession must not be mistaken for evidence that things are moving in the right direction. The danger is that invest-ments in new technology will be

post-poned, resulting in even higher emis-sions when demand picks up again.

The Environmental Objectives Council wishes to underscore the importance of breaking the link be-tween economic growth and increased impacts on the environment. The economic crisis offers an opportunity to improve the efficiency and envir-onmental performance of both

tech-nologies and systems. The political opening that now exists for invest-ments in renewable energy, green technology, energy efficiency and public transport must be seized. Stimulus packages must have a two-fold aim: to create jobs and growth, and to build a sustainable society.

The objective/target is expected to be achieved within the defined time frame.

The objective/target can be achieved within the defined time frame, provided that further action is taken.

The objective/target will be very difficult or not possible to achieve within the defined time frame, even if further action is taken.

The trend in the state of the environment is positive.

No clear trend in the state of the environment can be seen.

The trend in the state of the environment is negative.

Key to symbols used for assessments of the objectives

Trend arrows for environmental quality objectives

Smileys for environmental quality objectives and interim targets

The target year has passed. The target was achieved by that date.

The target year has passed. The target was not achieved by that date.

(13)

1 1  

The Council’s assessment

This objective will be very

difficult to achieve. The trend in the

state of the environment is negative.

Levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to rise. Global emissions grew by 25% between

1990 and 2005, and are expected to increase more rapidly over the next 20–30 years if no further action is taken to reduce them.

The biggest rise has been in emis-sions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use in the energy and transport sectors. Deforestation around the world is another significant factor behind the increased atmospheric concentration of this gas.

In Sweden, greenhouse gas emis-sions have fallen, with a decrease of 9% since 1990. The Swedish interim target for 2008–12 is for average annual emissions to be at least 4% lower than in 1990, and this will probably be achieved.

How can the objective be met?

Emissions will need to be reduced throughout this century if the object-ive is to be attained. The EU has adopted a long-term climate goal of limiting the global average tempera-ture rise to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. To meet that goal, the industrial nations will have to cut their emissions by 30–40% by 2020 and 75–90% by 2050, compared with 1990.

To achieve Reduced Climate Impact, it is important that international nego-tiations in 2009 lead to a new climate agreement to reduce emissions. Key factors in curbing global emissions are the development of more

energy-efficient technologies, carbon capture and storage, an increased share of renewable energy, and reduced de-forestation.

Reduced Climate Impact

environmental quality objective one

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change provides for the stabilization of concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at levels which ensure that human activities do not have a harmful impact on the climate system. This goal must be achieved in such a way and at such a pace that biological diversity is preserved, food production is assured and other goals of sustainable development are not jeopardized. Sweden, together with other countries, must assume responsibility for achieving this global objective.

40 20 60 80 million tonnes

Emissions of greenhouse gases in Sweden, total and by sector, 1990–2007

1990 1995 2000 2005 2007

source: national inventory report sweden 2008

Other sectors Industrial processes

Residential, services etc. Agriculture Industrial combustion Waste Domestic transport Power and district heating

Swedish emissions of greenhouse gases have fallen by 6.5 million tonnes since 1990. Releases from heating of homes and premises have declined most significantly, while transport emissions have increased. The country’s green-house gas emissions are affected to some extent by temperature and precipitation.

interim target and target year

(14)

The Council’s assessment

This objective will be very diffi-cult or not possible to achieve by 2020, even if further action is taken. No clear trend in the state of the environment can be seen.

Air pollution continues to have adverse effects on health, vegetation and cul-tural heritage objects. An earlier favour- able trend in urban air quality in Swe-den has levelled off, with no improve-ment recorded since the beginning of this century. Worst off are major cities, certain areas in the south of Sweden, and northern areas where weather con-ditions can result in an accumulation of exhaust emissions and other pollu-tants close to the ground.

Causes of elevated levels of air pollution include emissions from old vehicles, use of studded tyres, and small-scale burning of wood. The main reasons for the assessment that this objective will be hard to achieve are a better understanding of envir-onmental and health risks, especially those associated with particles; a halt in the positive trend in nitrogen dioxide levels; and increasing back-ground concentrations of back-ground-level ozone. However, the interim targets for sulphur dioxide and volatile organ-ic compounds (VOCs) have already been attained.

How can the objective be met?

The biggest obstacles to achieving

Clean Air are the difficulties involved in reducing concentrations of particles, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone. Insufficient action has been taken locally to bring down air pollu-tant levels in urban areas. Key factors affecting the prospects of meeting this objective are trends in transport, energy use and individual domestic heating systems.

Much of the air pollution in Swe-den is imported from sources outside the country, which means that inter-national efforts in this area are crucial. Global cooperation to curb emissions of ozone precursors and fine particles needs to be stepped up very signifi-cantly.

Clean Air

environmental quality objective two

The air must be clean enough not to represent a risk to human health or to animals, plants or cultural assets.

80 60 20 100 120 40 index 1990/91 = 100

Air quality trend in Swedish towns and cities during the winter period, 1990/1991 –2006/2007

90/91 94/95 98/99 02/03 06/07

source: swedish environmental monitoring programme

NO2 SO2

The earlier trend, with a falling overall index and hence improving air quality in urban areas of Sweden, has levelled off. The index for each pollutant is based on a population-weighted average of urban background concentrations in some 30 municipalities.

Soot Benzene

Overall index

interim targets and target years

Sulphur dioxide 2005 Nitrogen dioxide 2010 Ground-level ozone 2010 Volatile organic compounds 2010 Particles 2010 Benzo[a]pyrene 2015

(15)

1 3  

The Council’s assessment

This objective will be very diffi-cult or not possible to achieve by 2020, even if further action is taken. The trend in the state of the environment is positive.

Greatly reduced emissions of acid-ifying sulphur and nitrogen across Europe in recent decades have led to significant improvements in the acidification status of soil and water. Projections point to a further modest decline in emissions by 2020, and the acidification situation is thus expected to continue to improve – but not enough to achieve a level that soil and water are able to tolerate.

In addition, more intensive forestry could adversely affect the recovery capacity of forest soils and thus ex-acerbate acidification.

How can the objective be met?

To achieve this environmental qual-ity objective, further action needs to be taken. The objective cannot be

met by national measures alone, but requires international cooperation, since acid deposition originates large-ly from sources outside Sweden.

The main focus is on reducing nitrogen oxide emissions from inter-national shipping, which are expected to rise by some 40% between 2000 and 2020. Shipping is already re-sponsible for atmospheric emissions of nitrogen oxides almost as large as those from other sources.

Natural Acidification Only

interim targets and target years

Acidification of lakes and streams 2010 Acidification of forest soils 2010 Sulphur dioxide emissions 2010 Nitrogen oxide emissions 2010   ¯ %XCEEDANCE SOURCES AND AGRICULTURAL ENVIRONMENTAL  ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯  %XCEEDANCE EQHAYR 4HE CONSIDERABLY LOADS THAN WHICH REDUCED ALSO %ACH EXCEEDANCE WITH   ¯ %XCEEDANCE SOURCES AND AGRICULTURAL ENVIRONMENTAL  ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯  %XCEEDANCE EQHAYR 4HE CONSIDERABLY LOADS THAN WHICH REDUCED ALSO %ACH EXCEEDANCE WITH

environmental quality objective three

The acidifying effects of deposition and land use must not exceed the limits that can be tolerated by soil and water. In addition, deposition of acidifying substances must not increase the rate of corrosion of technical materials or cultural artefacts and buildings.

(16)

The Council’s assessment

This objective will be very

difficult or not possible to achieve

by 2020, even if further action is

taken. No clear trend in the state of

the environment can be seen.

Use of chemicals around the world is increasing, with growing production in countries where regulation in this field is limited. Although positive trends can be seen for individual substances, we are still a long way from reaching the objective. Mercury, cadmium and persistent compounds already occur widely in the environ-ment and in products and buildings.

In addition, we have a poor under-standing of the hazardous properties and environmental occurrence of many substances, and also of the effects on humans and the environ-ment of exposure to several substances

at the same time. Good progress has been made in reducing risks in the workplace, but allergy and other forms of hypersensitivity remain a major problem.

How can the objective be met?

Greater preventive efforts are needed to avoid dangerous substances getting onto the market and affecting people and the environment. The REACH Regulation and other new EU legis-lation will significantly improve knowledge about the properties of chemicals and the risks they entail.

This legislation can reduce the use of hazardous substances, and the pros-pects of achieving the objective will depend crucially on how it is imple-mented.

In Sweden, there need to be bet-ter controls on chemicals in products. Companies must step up the pace of efforts to replace and phase out dangerous substances. There is also a need for ‘green chemistry’ to min-imize the environmental impacts of substances and the ways in which they are produced. Speedier action must be taken to clean up contamin-ated sites around the country, with both state and private funding.

A Non-Toxic Environment

environmental quality objective four

The environment must be free from man-made or extracted compounds and metals that represent a threat to human health or biological diversity.

80 60 20 100 120 40 index Environmental contaminants in breast milk, 1996–2007 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2007

source: national food administration

Concentrations of persistent organic pollutants in breast milk show only a gradual decline, despite reductions in both use and emissions of these substances.

PBDEs (brominated flame retardants) Dioxins

PCB 153

DDE (metabolite of DDT)

interim targets and target years

Data on health and environmental properties of chemical substances 2010/2020 Information on dangerous substances in products 2010 Phase-out of substances of very high concern 2007/2010 Continuous reduction of health and environmental risks of chemicals 2010 Guideline values for environmental quality 2010 Remediation of contaminated sites 2010 Remediation of contaminated sites 2005–2010/2050 Dioxins in food 2010 Cadmium 2015

(17)

1 5  

The Council’s assessment

This objective is expected

to be achieved by 2020. The trend

in the state of the environment is

positive.

The thickness of the ozone layer has remained fairly constant since 2002, suggesting that earlier thinning has begun to abate. At the same time, atmospheric concentrations of ozone-depleting substances continue to fall, thanks to successful international action under the Montreal Protocol. The ozone layer will probably begin to recover and become thicker again around 2020. Full recovery can prob-ably be expected around 2050.

Substances that deplete the ozone layer contain either chlorine or brom-ine, and were previously used as aerosol propellants and as refrigerants in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. Chemicals of this type have also been used in foam plastic insulation materials and as fire-extin-guishing agents.

How can the objective be met?

Key factors in achieving this environ-mental quality objective are further international cooperation and compli-ance with existing rules. The binding agreements under the Montreal Pro-tocol to curb the use and production of ozone-depleting substances have a crucial part to play.

Sweden’s phase-out of ozone- depleting chemicals is largely com-plete. Substances of this kind in end-of-life products and equipment

must be disposed of as hazardous waste. The hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) introduced as substitutes for more harmful chemicals are still being used on a relatively large scale. A ban on their use in existing refri-geration, air conditioning and heating systems will enable Sweden to com-plete its phase-out of ozone-depleting substances.

A Protective Ozone Layer

environmental quality objective five

The ozone layer must be replenished so as to provide long-term protection against harmful UV radiation.

interim target and target year

Emissions of ozone-depleting substances 2010

(18)

The Council’s assessment

This objective can be achieved

by 2020 if further action is taken.

No clear trend in the state of the

environment can be seen.

Emissions of radioactive substances are limited, and radiation doses to the public from individual activities are judged to be negligible. Regarding the interim target for skin cancer, however, the picture is less encour-aging. The incidence of this disease continues to rise, and the target is judged to be very difficult to meet. As regards monitoring of risks asso-ciated with electromagnetic fields (EMFs), the trend is positive. EMFs arise, for example, around power lines and wireless broadband and 3G equipment. The target for EMFs is considered to have been met, as risks are being studied and appropriate action taken.

How can the objective be met?

It is difficult to assess what remains to be done to achieve A Safe Radiation

Environment. In some areas, such as radiological protection of plant and animal life, not enough is known about effects and risks. In others, like radioactive waste from energy production, health care, industry and research, development work is still under way. Disposal options need to be found for all types of radioactive waste. That includes developing arrangements for the permanent disposal of spent fuel from nuclear

power stations. Site investigations currently under way are expected to result in 2009 in SKB (the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company) reaching a position on where a deep underground repository should be built.

This environmental quality ob-jective is concerned to a large degree with creating good conditions for public health. An important factor affecting progress towards it is that it is difficult to influence people’s exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radi-ation. To halt the steady rise in the incidence of skin cancer, attitudes to sunbathing need to change and steps must be taken to ensure that outdoor areas used by children provide access to shade.

A Safe Radiation Environment

environmental quality objective six

Human health and biological diversity must be protected against the harmful effects of radiation in the external environment.

1,500

500 2,000 2,500

1,000

number of new cases

Skin cancer trends in Sweden, 1970–2007

1976 1982

1970 1988 2007

source: national board of health and welfare

The incidence of skin cancer in Sweden con-tinues to rise. The main reason it is proving difficult to reverse the trend is that changing behaviour patterns related to exposure to UV radiation takes time, for example because having a suntan is associated with good health.

1994 2000 2006

Men, skin tumour

(other than malignant melanoma) Men, malignant melanoma Women, skin tumour

(other than malignant melanoma) Women, malignant melanoma interim targets and target years

Radioactive substances 2010 Skin cancer 2020

(19)

1 7  

The Council’s assessment

This objective will be very

difficult or not possible to achieve

by 2020, even if further action is

taken. No clear trend in the state of

the environment can be seen.

Emissions of eutrophying pollutants to both air and water are falling, but no corresponding improvement can be seen in the state of the environ-ment. The biggest problems are to be found in the marine environment, where algal blooms are judged to have increased in number and scale as a result of eutrophication. In 2008, entirely anoxic conditions were re-corded over a larger area of the Baltic seabed than at any time since 1960. In the inner and middle parts of the Stockholm archipelago, however, there are signs of local improvements in oxygen levels and benthic fauna.

How can the objective be met?

Although this environmental quality objective is not expected to be at-tained by 2020, the Council’s assess-ment is that, by that date, conditions for meeting it in the longer term can be created – but only if all the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) countries fulfil their commitments to reduce inputs to the Baltic.

Future trends in agriculture will crucially affect the prospects of achieving the objective. A rise in cereal production has increased losses of phosphorus from farmland. Single-household sewage systems are

another major concern, as a growing number of second homes with inad-equate treatment facilities are now being used all year round.

Zero Eutrophication

environmental quality objective seven

Nutrient levels in soil and water must not be such that they adversely affect human health, the conditions for biological diversity or the possibility of varied use of land and water.

interim targets and target years

Phosphorus emissions 2010 Nitrogen emissions 2010 Ammonia emissions 2010 Nitrogen oxide emissions 2010 3TATED INPUTS 4ONNES FINLAND SWEDEN LATVIA ESTONIA RUSSIA LITHUANIA DENMARK GERMANY POLAND            0ROVISIONAL 0ROVISIONAL 5NDER SHARING MEASURES INPUTS TONNES OTHER WILL 3TATED INPUTS 4ONNES FINLAND SWEDEN LATVIA ESTONIA RUSSIA LITHUANIA DENMARK GERMANY POLAND            0ROVISIONAL 0ROVISIONAL 5NDER SHARING MEASURES INPUTS TONNES OTHER WILL 3TATED INPUTS 4ONNES FINLAND SWEDEN LATVIA ESTONIA RUSSIA LITHUANIA DENMARK GERMANY POLAND            0ROVISIONAL 0ROVISIONAL 5NDER SHARING MEASURES INPUTS TONNES OTHER WILL

(20)

The Council’s assessment

This objective can be achieved by 2020 if further action is taken. The trend in the state of the environment is positive.

Valuable aquatic environments have been conserved or improved in many areas, through a range of interven-tions. Rivers have been restored, for example, and valuable waters protect-ed. In addition, many measures have been introduced that will improve the

state of the environment, though only in the longer term. In 2008 the water authorities drew up proposals for management plans and programmes of measures for aquatic environments in Sweden.

Inadequate attention to such en-vironments in farming and forestry, however, has led to a deterioration of their status in many areas. Progress in establishing water protection areas to safeguard drinking water sources has been slow. The interim targets regard-

ing protection of natural and cultural environments and water protection areas will be very difficult to meet on time, even with additional action.

How can the objective be met?

To achieve Flourishing Lakes and

Streams, further measures need to be introduced. Greater consideration must be shown for lakes and water-courses, especially in farming and forestry, and efforts to conserve cul-tural and nacul-tural environments must be stepped up.

Other key factors include the impacts of hydroelectric schemes on biodiversity, and construction near lakes and rivers, which adversely affects animal and plant life. When ecological restoration projects are planned and carried out, due account must also be taken of valuable cul-tural environments.

Flourishing Lakes and Streams

environmental quality objective eight

Lakes and watercourses must be ecologically sustainable and their variety of habitats must be preserved. Natural productive capacity, biological diversity, cultural heritage assets and the ecological and water-conserving function of the landscape must be preserved, at the same time as recreational assets are safeguarded.

interim targets and target years

Protection of natural and cultural environments 2005/2010 Restoration of rivers and streams 2005/2010 Water supply plans 2009 Releases of animals and plants 2005 Action programmes for threatened species 2005

(21)

1 9  

The Council’s assessment

This objective can be achieved by 2020 if further action is taken. No clear trend in the state of the environment can be seen.

The development of river basin man-agement plans, as required under the EU’s Water Framework Directive, has prompted greater efforts and a greater

concern for groundwater on the part of county administrative boards. In the road transport, drinking water supply, agriculture and well-drilling sectors, too, work is under way that will help to meet the objective.

Many improvements may be noted: more care is being taken when using de-icing salt on roads and in pesticide and fertilizer use in farming, for example, and acid loads are much reduced. However, the inertia of soil and groundwater systems means that it takes time for such improvements to make themselves felt. In addi-tion, there are still major gaps in our understanding of how groundwater quality is affected by pollutants.

How can the objective be met?

To meet this objective, the water au- thorities’ overall programmes of meas-ures at the regional and local levels will need to secure the necessary reductions in the impacts of farming, transport, contaminated land etc. Local authority planning and action on water supply, sewage and solid waste issues must take into account the need to protect groundwater.

Trends in agriculture will be cru-cial to progress towards the objective, since fertilizer and pesticide use and irrigation often adversely affect groundwater status. Developments in forestry too, such as greater use of nitrogen fertilizers, could be detrimen-tal to groundwater.

There is a need for advice to house-holds with private wells, with a view to improving water quality. Only a little over a fifth of all wells supply water that is entirely acceptable under National Board of Health and Welfare drinking water guidelines, while the water from roughly one in five is unfit for consumption – often owing to bacteria from sewage or naturally high levels of substances such as arsenic, uranium, fluoride or radon from surface deposits or bedrock.

Good-Quality Groundwater

environmental quality objective nine

Groundwater must provide a safe and sustainable supply of drinking water and contribute to viable habitats for flora and fauna in lakes and watercourses.

60 20 80 100 40 %

Municipal groundwater sources with water protection areas established 1960–2008

1970 1975 1965

1960 1980 1985 2008

Over a third of Sweden’s municipal ground-water sources lack a ground-water protection area. Most of these sources are relatively small, though, and the proportion of water abstract-ed from protectabstract-ed sources is consequently as high as 92%. Many protection areas established before 1980 need to be reviewed and updated to provide adequate safeguards.

1990 1995 20002006

source: geological survey of sweden

Percentage of all municipal groundwater sources

Percentage of all water abstracted from municipal groundwater sources

[Version till OH-serien:]

Over a third of Sweden’s municipal groundwater sources lack a water protection area. Most of these sources are relatively small, though, and the proportion of water abstracted from protected sources is consequently as high as 92%. Just under a third of the water distributed comes from sources with protection areas established before 1980. Many of these need to be reviewed and updated to provide adequate safeguards.

interim targets and target years

Protection of water-bearing geological formations 2010

Groundwater levels 2010 Good-quality drinking water 2010

(22)

The Council’s assessment

This objective will be very difficult or not possible to achieve by 2020, even if further action is taken. No clear trend in the state of the environment can be seen.

Despite considerable efforts over the last 30 years, the environmental status of the Baltic Sea, Kattegat and Skagerrak remains poor. For several fish species the situation is still very serious, and bycatch of fish, birds and marine mammals continues to be a problem.

Some coastal and archipelago areas are under growing pressure from built development, recreation and tourism. Elsewhere, depopulation is a prob-lem, resulting in overgrown agricul-tural landscapes and a risk of unique cultural heritage being lost.

There are some encouraging trends as well, however, such as pro-gress in establishing marine nature reserves and areas closed to fishing, and in reducing noise disturbance in archipelago areas. In addition, a steady decrease in illegal discharges of oil into the Baltic can be noted.

How can the objective be met?

Cooperation within the EU and inter-nationally is crucial to attaining this objective. International agreements are needed to regulate fisheries and improve environmental practice in the shipping industry. On the positive side, the EU’s Marine Strategy Direct-ive came into effect in 2008, with the aim of achieving good environmental status in the marine waters of Europe by 2020. A cause for concern is that future climate change could have dramatic effects, including a dilution of salinity and changes in species composition.

A Balanced Marine Environment,

Flourishing Coastal Areas

and Archipelagos

environmental quality objective ten

The North Sea and the Baltic Sea must have a sustainable productive capacity, and biological diversity must be preserved. Coasts and archipelagos must be characterized by a high degree of biological diversity and a wealth of recreational, natural and cultural assets. Industry, recreation and other utilization of the seas, coasts and archipelagos must be compatible with the promotion of sustainable development. Particularly valuable areas must be protected against encroachment and other disturbance.

0ERMANENT AREAS #LOSED ALL #LOSED COD !T SELECTIVE $URING  WITH 2EST $URING ONLY DOES FISHING SOURCE )N CLOSED ON $%.-!2+ 37%$%.

interim targets and target years

Protection of environments 2005/2015 Strategy for cultural heritage and agricultural landscapes 2005 Action programmes for threatened marine species 2005 Bycatch 2010 Catches and recruitment of fish 2008 Noise and other disturbance 2010 Discharges of oil and chemicals 2010

(23)

2 1  

The Council’s assessment

This objective can be achieved by 2020 if further action is taken. The trend in the state of the environment is positive.

Efforts to protect and recreate mires and other wetlands are progressing, though not quickly enough. Although key interim targets will not be met on time, the prospects for the country’s wetlands look fairly promising in the somewhat longer term. Work is con-tinuing on the Mire Protection Plan for Sweden, which identifies valuable mires requiring protection, and on action programmes for threatened species.

Consideration for aquatic and wetland environments in agriculture and forestry is likely to improve with the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. The Govern-ment has given county administrative boards special funding to establish and restore wetland areas. Re-creation of wetlands may prove important in miti-gating the effects of climate change and changed precipitation patterns.

How can the objective be met?

Greater care needs to be taken of wetlands, especially in forestry. More wetlands must be re-established in the right places in farming areas, both as habitats for animals and plants and to reduce marine eutrophication. In addition, more mires need to be pro-tected and surveys made of wetland cultural heritage.

Perhaps the most important factor in achieving this objective is aware-ness of and interest in wetlands on the part of landowners, both to prevent damage to and to recreate such environments. Compliance, and supervision of compliance, with exist-ing legislation is crucial, particularly as regards environmental stewardship in forestry. In addition, policy deci-sions need to be taken on funding for compensation payments and nature conservation agreements to protect mire sites.

Thriving Wetlands

environmental quality objective eleven

The ecological and water-conserving function of wetlands in the landscape must be maintained and valuable wetlands preserved for the future.

interim targets and target years

Strategy for protection and manage- ment 2005 Mire Protection Plan 2010 Forest roads 2006 Wetlands on agricultural land 2010 Action programmes for threatened species 2005

A Balanced Marine Environment,

Flourishing Coastal Areas

(24)

The Council’s assessment

This objective will be very diffi-cult or not possible to achieve by 2020, even if further action is taken. No clear trend in the state of the environment can be seen.

Certain basic factors for biodiversity are improving, such as the quantity of dead wood and the areas of old forest and of mature forest with a large deciduous component. At the same time, the biodiversity and cultural heritage of Sweden’s forests continue to be eroded. Resources are intensive-ly exploited, with felling at a record high level. Partly in response to the challenge of climate change, there is also growing demand for biomass to replace fossil fuels.

This has led to increased interest in harvesting forests of high nature conservation value. Steadily more forest land is being protected, but attention to conservation in regen-eration felling remains inadequate. Forestry is also causing considerable damage to cultural heritage assets in the country’s forests.

Harvesting of tops and branches can lead to gradual acidification and nutrient depletion of the soil. To compensate, wood ash is being recyc-led to forest land, but it will be some time before this is being done on a sufficient scale.

Forest land can offer benefits for recreation, public health and children’s development. Action is therefore being taken to develop and communicate the positive social aspects of forests.

How can the objective be met?

Sustainable Forests will not be achieved on time, but implementation of pro-posed new interim targets and meas-ures could pave the way to meeting it in the longer term. Key factors affecting the prospects of attaining this objective include future demand for forest raw materials and products, improved attention to nature con-servation and cultural heritage in forestry, sufficient government funds to compensate landowners for formal forest protection, and further imple-mentation of certification schemes in the forest sector.

Sustainable Forests

environmental quality objective twelve

The value of forests and forest land for biological production must be protected, at the same time as biological diversity and cultural heritage and recreational assets are safeguarded.

interim targets and target years

Long-term protection of forest land 2010 Enhanced biological diversity 2010 Protection of cultural heritage 2010 Action programmes for threatened species 2005 100 300 400 200 thousand hectares

Increase in area of formally protected forest outside montane forest zone, 1998–2008

199819992000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 200620072008

sources: swedish environmental protection agency and swedish forest agency

Habitat protection areas Nature conservation agreements

Target 2010

Nature reserves

Since the base year 1998, a further 204,670 ha of forest land has been safeguarded in nature reserves, 21,560 ha under nature conservation agreements, and 16,400 ha in habitat protection areas. Despite the marked increase in the area thus protected, further efforts are needed to meet the target.

(25)

2 3  

The Council’s assessment

This objective can be achieved by 2020 if further action is taken. The trend in the state of the environment is positive.

The natural and cultural assets of the agricultural landscape are threatened by both scrub encroachment and in-tensification of farming. However, the last decade has seen an encouraging trend in the total area of meadow and pasture land under management. A positive factor from the point of view of biodiversity and cultural heritage is the large area of managed land that is of high conservation interest. At the same time, many farmland species are threatened or declining.

The status and long-term product-ivity of arable land are satisfactory. However, major changes are affecting the diversity of buildings and built environments, threatening cultural heritage that has been created over a long period of time.

How can the objective be met?

It is difficult to assess how far we are from achieving this objective. We need to know more about how much land is required, and how far-reaching measures must be, to preserve the nat- ural and cultural assets of the farmed landscape. Long-term funding for relevant measures is essential.

Key factors affecting the prospects of attaining the objective are the

EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, economic and technological trends in agriculture, and rural development policy and overall trends in that area. The values of the agricultural land-scape are dependent on the land being farmed and on the countryside being an attractive place to live and work.

A Varied Agricultural Landscape

environmental quality objective thirteen

The value of the farmed landscape and agricultural land for biological production and food production must be protected, at the same time as biological diversity and cultural heritage assets are preserved and strengthened.

interim targets and target years

Meadow and pasture land 2010 Small-scale habitats 2005 (part of target)

Culturally significant landscape features 2010 Plant genetic resources and indigenous breeds 2010 Action programmes for threatened species 2006 Farm buildings of cultural heritage value 2005

References

Related documents

Industrial Emissions Directive, supplemented by horizontal legislation (e.g., Framework Directives on Waste and Water, Emissions Trading System, etc) and guidance on operating

46 Konkreta exempel skulle kunna vara främjandeinsatser för affärsänglar/affärsängelnätverk, skapa arenor där aktörer från utbuds- och efterfrågesidan kan mötas eller

För att uppskatta den totala effekten av reformerna måste dock hänsyn tas till såväl samt- liga priseffekter som sammansättningseffekter, till följd av ökad försäljningsandel

Inom ramen för uppdraget att utforma ett utvärderingsupplägg har Tillväxtanalys också gett HUI Research i uppdrag att genomföra en kartläggning av vilka

The increasing availability of data and attention to services has increased the understanding of the contribution of services to innovation and productivity in

Syftet eller förväntan med denna rapport är inte heller att kunna ”mäta” effekter kvantita- tivt, utan att med huvudsakligt fokus på output och resultat i eller från

Generella styrmedel kan ha varit mindre verksamma än man har trott De generella styrmedlen, till skillnad från de specifika styrmedlen, har kommit att användas i större

Keywords: Shipping, SECA, NECA, Ballast Water Management, Energy Efficiency Design Index, Sustainability, Legislation, IMO, Swedish shipping