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Holmen, Swedish EPA Complete Major Land Deal

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Holmen Skog, Stockholm, Sweden, has agreed in principle to sell just more than 10 000 hectares of forest with a wealth of natural assets to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to create a nature reserve. In exchange, Holmen is being given the opportunity to purchase around 18 000 hectares of forest land of an equivalent value. The deal, which will formally be made in several stages during 2014, has no impact on Holmen’s earnings.

The forest is a habitat for thousands of species of flora and fauna. As part of measures to achieve the environmental objective of "Levande skogar" (Living Forests), the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) resolved in June 2010 that 100 000 hectares of state-owned forest would be used to compensate Sweden’s major landowners for an increase in the proportion of state-protected forest in Sweden.

"It feels very positive that Holmen is making an active contribution to achieving the ‘Levande skogar’ objective. Increasing the proportion of formally protected forest in Sweden through the state offering land in exchange is an excellent model. A larger share of forest with significant natural assets will acquire nature reserve status while Holmen is able to purchase land where it can actively work with sustainable forestry," said Sören Petersson, CEO at Holmen Skog.

The land selected is particularly valuable in terms of natural assets and will be turned into nature reserves. Holmen has worked closely with both the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the county administrative boards concerned with identifying and delimiting areas worthy of protection. The planned nature reserves are made up of more than 90 areas spread throughout Holmen’s forest holdings. One such area is Ågelsjön in Norrköping, an eldorado for climbers, an idyllic spot for families, a historical site, and an area with extremely valuable natural assets.

 

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