Sweden’s government could be close to a decision on the controversial Ojnare forest on the Baltic island of Gotland, as the Greens have reportedly convinced their Social Democratic coalition partners to grant the area the so-called Natura 2000 status, Swedish Radio News reports.
The future of the forest has been on the government’s agenda since March, follwing a request by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and a report from the regional authorities on Gotland.
Environment Minister Åsa Romson has said that she wants the area to be protected and that the decision from the government will come before the end of the month.
Final decision expected this week
According to Swedish Radio’s sources, the issue has been discussed by the government’s advisors, who will recommend the forest become a Natura 2000 area.
Romson and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven are expected to have a meeting on the matter today and the final decision could come this or next week.
A Natura 2000 status for the area would most likely put an end to limestone mining activities by companies such as Nordkalk and SMA Minerals.
Related stories from around the North:
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Finland: Climate change brings new insect arrivals to Finland, Yle News
Russia: Counting elusive Finnish forest reindeer in Russian Karelia, Yle News
Sweden: North American pines invading Swedish forests, Radio Sweden
United States: Dramatic increase in tundra-fire frequency in Arctic Alaska: report, Alaska Dispatch News