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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SWEDEN

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The ministries primarily responsible for agriculture and rural development are the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of the Environment. They participate in the National Coordinating Mechanism for Sustainable Development.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Natural Resources Act and the Act of Maintenance of Farmland (AMF) and its amendments are relevant legislative instruments in the area of agriculture and rural development. The national policy framework for SARD is partly covered by the amendments to the AMF.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

The overarching goal for Swedish agriculture and food security policy within the EU is, according to Parliament decisions, to promote availability of a variety of high quality food products, to promote sustainable agriculture and food production, and to support global food security. The overarching goal is supported by policies to safeguard a rich and varied cultivated landscape with its inherent cultural values, to maintain biological diversity and minimise environmental impact from agriculture. Rural sustainable development should promote ecological, economical and social sustainable agriculture and food production. We are presently in a process of reviewing our more concrete targets to achieve sustainable agriculture and food production.

The National Board of Agriculture has presented an action plan for achieving the goal of ten percent of cultivated acreage being organically farmed by 2000. A new proposal of achieveing 20% has been presented. Proposals for further actions needed to fulfil the goal on reducing nitrogen leakage will be presented during 1999. Wetlands are reestablished both to maintain biodiversity and to prevent leakage. The incentives to achieve the objectives of the programme is economical (compensation), but also to a major extent information and awareness programmes for farmers, and to a lesser extent legislation.

Specific environmental policy objectives are to:

- Expand nature and landscape conservation programmes to 600,000 hectares of agriculture land; reduce nitrogen leaching from agriculture land by 50 per cent by 1995, from the 1985 level, and the total consumption of commercial fertilisers by 20 per cent by the turn of the century; reduce the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture by 75 per cent (calculated in kilograms of active ingredients) by 1996, compared with the average consumption for 1981-85; establish "ecological farming" on 10 per cent of arable land by 2000.

The Ministry for the Environment will appoint a parliamentary committee to draft a strategy for reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with the purpose of market-orienting, deregulating and "greening" agricultural policy.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

No information available.

Programmes and Projects 

Sweden has introduced an environmental programme for agriculture in accordance with EEC Council Regulation 2078/92. This programme focuses on production methods in agriculture compatible with requirements of environmental protection and nature conservation. This includes an expanded programme on conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage values. Compensation can be achieved for i.a. maintenance of natural grass-lands and meadows, recreation of wetlands, maintenance of cultural values and activities aimed at conservation of threatened species. Measures for environmentally sensitive areas and ecological production are also included in the programme. Compensation is provided for the conservation of threatened domestic breeds. An earlier programme on landscape conservation was incorporated into the programme.

There is a programme for sustainable rural development. Special measures are taken to promote agriculture and rural development in northern Sweden, where natural conditions make agriculture less productive. Compensation aim at preventing transformation of arable land to other land uses, such as forestry. However, forestry is an important sector for rural development in Sweden.

Government Bill 1995/96:76 states that Sweden, as a member of the EU, must introduce a supportive programme for the afforestation of arable land in keeping with EEC Council Regulation 2080/92.

Sweden has introduced a national action programme on plant genetic resources. Action to conserve animal genetic resources has been taken in accordance with the Common Agricultural Programme within the EU.

Status 

During the last ten years, by means of two consecutive reduction programmes the use of pesticides has decreased to 25% of its former usage. Pesticides which have been shown to pose a threat to water supplies have been prohibited for use or their use has been prohibited to specific areas. The increase in sales of pesticides observed in 1994 was probably due in large part to hoarding prior to the increase in the environment charge which took effect later that year. Approval of certain pesticides normally sold in relatively large quantities was withdrawn in 1994.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

A system study of sustainable agriculture has been carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Board of Agriculture, the University of Agricultural Sciences and the Federation of Swedish Farmers and others.

Sweden has initiated a programme to collect and record traditional knowledge related to biodiversity, including knowledge on traditional farming techniques etc.

Sweden is in process of developing sustainable development indicators, including for agricultural practices and rural development.

Additional information is contained in the three reports "Environmental activities at the Swedish Board of Agriculture", "Programme to reduce nutrient leakage from agriculture in Sweden", and "Programme to reduce the risks connected with the use of pesticides in Sweden".

Research and Technologies 

Energy systems are centralised in Sweden. However, use of energy from biomass and wind has increased since UNCED. Energy from agriculture and wind is promoted by strategies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Financing 

Approximately US$ 330 million have been allocated annually to implement the agri-environmental programme.

Cooperation

No information available.

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his information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: October 1999.

For national information on agricultural land use, click here.
For country reports on Plant Genetic Resources, click here.
To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here:
Click here to link to biosafety web sites in Sweden.
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to link to Country and Sub-regional Information on Plant Genetic Resources of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for the protection of the atmosphere and is a full member of the National Coordination Mechanism for Sustainable Development. The Communications Committee has issued a report on the continuing work for the environmental adaptation of the transportation sector. The Environmental Protection Agency collaborates with other traffic authorities on a project related to an environmentally appropriate transportation system. Local authorities report on similar activities through the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning. The Environmental Classification Commission has made proposals to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise levels. NGOs and the private sector have made contributions to various activities to protect the atmosphere.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The new Railway Planning Act which entered into force in 1996 makes railway construction an integral part of decision-making on the management of natural resources. 

The main instruments for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in Sweden are energy carbon taxation,the programme for energy efficiency improvements and increased utilization of renewable energy sources. During the spring of 1994 the Riksdag changed the energy and environmental taxation. For example, the energy tax on fuels used in co-generation, i.e. combined heat and power production (CHP), was reinstated at half the rate from 1 July 1994 and remains in force. In the new system, fuels used in district heating plants for deliveries of heat to industry receive a compensation of SEK 90 per MWh of heat delivered, but crude tall oil is exempted. Furthermore, from 1 July 1994, wind power receives a special environmental bonus equivalent to the tax on the electricity delivered to the households, at present SEK 97 (ECU 10,4) per MWh. The bonus is paid to the distributors and passed on to the producer.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

The government promotes policies and programmes in the areas of energy efficiency, environmentally sound and efficient transportation, industrial pollution control, sound land-use practices, sound management of marine resources and management of toxic and other hazardous waste.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

No information available.

Programmes and Projects 

Activities aimed at a less polluting and safer transportation system have been addressed in part since UNCED. Progress has been achieved through the classification of fuel and vehicles and through control of emissions, and the government promotes the use of bio-fuels. Improved land-use policy also contributes to Sweden's decreasing air pollution.

Status 

The phasing out of CFCs and HCFCs has followed a timetable with targets which have for the most part been met. The phasing out of all ozone-depleting substances should be completed by the year 2002.

On 1 January 1996, the carbon dioxide tax on fuels increased to SEK 370 (ECU 39,7) per tonnes of carbon dioxide. For industry, the Government has proposed an increase of the carbon dioxide tax rate from 25 to 50% of the general rate. Such an increase includes the ability to obtain tax abatement for the energy intensive industry where similar taxation is not implemented in the competing countries. The Government has also proposed that energy taxation should increase by approximately 10%.

In the area of environment and transportation, comprehensive and systematic observations of emissions are being carried out. Linked energy, transportation, and industry activities are of medium to high priority. A parliamentary Energy Commission has reviewed energy supply and examined the energy programmes and the possibilities of phasing out nuclear power. Several environment related taxes and fees have been introduced (e.g., energy tax, CO2 tax, SOx tax and NOx fee). Evaluations have shown the carbon dioxide tax to be the most effective instrument in the heating sector. Biofuels are mostly used for heating production and fossil fuels for electricity generation in combined heating and power plants, the reason being that fossils fuels are not taxed for electricity generation.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

 In the area of transboundary atmospheric pollution control, the government exchanges data and information at both the national and international levels.

Research and Technologies 

Studies on air pollution and depletion of the ozone layer are carried out regularly.

Financing 

Sweden contributed approximately US$ 210,000 to the trust funds administered under the Montreal Protocol and Vienna Convention, and has supported developing countries with approximately US$ 1.9 million to enable them to comply with the Montreal Protocol. Sweden contributed in 1996 in total US$ 157 000 for activities in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Cooperation

The Montreal Protocol and the London Amendment were ratified before 1 July 1992. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was ratified 23 June 1993 and the latest National Communication to the UNFCCC Secretariat was submitted in September 1994.

Sweden is active in international negotiations within the framework of the Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP), i.a. on the development of a protocol on NOx; and related substances, and in EU in the development of an acidification strategy to decrease sulphur emissions in other countries which contribute to soil and water acidification in Sweden. Sweden has ratified the LRTAP protocol from Geneva 1991 on control of emissions of volatile organic compounds or their transboundary fluxes and also the protocol from Oslo 1994 on sulphur emission ceilings and percentage emission reduction and the NOx protocol from Sofia 1988 . Sweden also promotes the work of the IMO, the Helsinki Commission , the Oslo and Paris Conventions (OSPAR) and the North Sea Conference with a view to reducing emissions of air pollutants and other environmental impacts from shipping.

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For national information on Greenhouse gases, the ozone layer, urban air pollution, air-borne metals and POPs, click here.
Click here for national information from the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of the Environment is primarily responsible for biodiversity and natural resources. Adequate national legislation is already in force.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

 Legislation on habitat has been revised and the drainage of certain parts of the south of Sweden have come to an end.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

The objectives of Sweden's National Strategy on Biological Diversity (1993) places equal weight and importance on environmental and economic considerations. The strategy considers a continuous dialogue between environmental authorities and the private sector to be essential. Forestry legislation is applicable to the conservation of biodiversity. A mire protection plan has been elaborated by the Environmental Protection Agency listing 350 of mires to be protected in the next 20 years. 

The Environmental Protection Agency, in cooperation with other relevant national authorities and institutions, has presented a country study on biodiversity in Sweden. On the basis of this report, action plans in various sectors (agriculture, forestry, fishery and physical planning) were presented to the relevant national boards.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

Local communities and municipalities have a responsibility for the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of biological resources, in particular through land-use or physical planning. Local authorities and communities have taken a major interest in developing Local Agenda 21 initiatives.

Programmes and Projects 

No information available.

Status 

Sweden has reported to the European Commission that 640 protected areas could be included as part of the continuous ecological network known as Natura 2000. Sweden has also designated 75 special protection areas for birds to be included in Natura 2000. The work is governed by the Council directive on the protection of habitats, wild animals and plants, known as the Species and Habitat Directive, and the Council Directive on the conservation of wild birds, known as the Birds Directive. Sweden and Finland have drawn up a joint proposal for adding to the Species and Habitat Directive those habitats and species which are of great importance for nature conservation in the northern regions.

Challenges

The most serious damage resulting in the loss of biodiversity is caused by the destruction of habitats. Over-harvesting and pollution have had a moderate impact on the loss of biodiversity, and the introduction of exotic species (both plant and animal) has been insignificant. Sweden expects that it will take at least five years to achieve results from the national strategy.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

The national monitoring system concerning biodiversity has been strengthened, and a research center for biodiversity (which includes a network of scientists) in Uppsala and a national Science Committee on Biological Diversity have been established.

Research and Technologies 

No information available.

Financing 

There has been an increase in grants for the establishment of protected areas, especially forests. Sweden has benefitted from an EU environmental fund (LIFE) for a number of projects on nature conservation and other sectors.

Cooperation

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in 1992 and ratified in 1993. The latest report will be submitted in 1997. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was ratified before 1 July 1992 and the latest report submitted in 1995.

Sweden has worked with INBIO of Costa Rica, World Resources Institute on the Global Strategy for Biological Diversity, and SAOC on support for gene banks. Activities are planned on research and training in Africa. The Environmental Protection Agency participated actively in the drafting of international guidelines for safety in biotechnology (with the United Kingdom and the Netherlands).

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For national information on biodiversity, click here.
For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:
Click here to link to biosafety web sites in Sweden.
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

No information available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

No information available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information available.

Status 

There are no deserts or areas in danger of becoming deserts in Sweden.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies 

No information available.

Financing 

No information available.

Cooperation

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa was signed in 1994 and ratified in 1995.

Sweden has taken a lead through the chairmanship of the negotiations of the Convention. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) has been cooperating with countries, particularly in Africa, in many years on programmes on land degradation and drought consistent with the principles of the Convention.

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

A parliamentary Energy Commission has reviewed energy supply and examined the energy programs and the possibilities of phasing out nuclear power.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Renewable energy sources are generally exempt from tax. Energy and road transport taxation are currently under review. A tax on gravel has been introduced, and one on waste will be introduced in 1999.

Environment and energy taxes represent a total tax revenue of around 55 billion SEK a year, as compared with, for example, SEK 180 billion from employers' contributions.

The main instruments for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in Sweden are energy carbon taxation, the program for energy efficiency improvements and increased utilization of renewable energy sources. Since 1984, environmental taxes have been levied carbon dioxide, sulphur, domestic aviation, nitrogen oxide, batteries, pesticides and commercial fertilizers.

Evaluations have shown the carbon dioxide tax to be the most effective instrument in the heating sector. Taxes on energy are environment-related and differentiated for petrol and diesel oils.

 On 1 January 1996, the carbon dioxide tax on fuels increased to SEK 370 (ECU 39,7) per tonnes of carbon dioxide.

For industry, the Government has proposed an increase of carbon dioxide tax rate from 25 to 50% of the general rate. This would, however, provide for a tax abatement for the energy intensive industry unless similar taxation were implemented in competing countries. The Government has also proposed that energy taxation overall should increase with approximately 10%.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

Sweden has pursued a strategy for many years of indirect taxation as an instrument of environmental policy following its experience of energy taxes in general and the carbon dioxide tax in particular.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

No information available.

Programmes and Projects 

As a means to facilitate the phasing out of nuclear power in Sweden, the Government in 1997 launched a multi billion dollar program to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. In addition, the Swedish National Board for Industrial and Technical development (NUTEK) is actively promoting the spread and innovation of EST on the national level and has developed a national strategy for technical procurement of EST.

Status 

Biofuels are mostly used for heating production and fossil fuels for electricity generation in combined heating and power plants, the reason being that fossils fuels are not taxed for electricity generation.

During the spring of 1994, the Riksdag decided on certain changes in the energy and environmental taxation. An energy tax on fuels used in co-generation, i.e. combined heat and power production (CHP) was reinstated at half the rate from 1 July 1994 and remains in force. In the new system fuels used in district heating plants for deliveries of heat to industry receive a compensation of SEK 90 per MWh of heat delivered, but crude tall oil is exempted.

Furthermore, from 1 July 1994, wind power receives a special environmental bonus equivalent to the tax on the electricity delivered to the households, at present SEK 97 (ECU 10,4) per MWh. The bonus is paid to the distributors and passed on to the producer.

There may appear to be some contradiction in the aims of green taxes, i.e.,- to contribute to a better environment and provide income for the treasury. The tax on carbon dioxide is an example of an environmental tax which provides a relatively stable income for the public treasury in Sweden. At the same time it is assumed that that tax is an aid in the long term reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and counteracts a rise in them. Coupled with the energy tax, carbon dioxide taxation has so far mainly resulted in the greater use of bio fuels in district heating. A reduction in the energy tax for industry took place in 1993. Since then the use of oil has seen a relative increase in industry, after 20 years of reduced oil consumption (per unit produced).

Preliminary studies by the Swedish Royal Engineering Society estimate that energy and material efficiency in Sweden has improved roughly by a factor of two since 1970.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies 

There are economic incentives to encourage the use of ESTs, and particularly in the energy sector. Specific taxes and charges on fossil fuels and carbon dioxide will promote the use of ESTs.

Procurement of energy conserving products (750 million SEK 1991-98). The procurement scheme focuses on areas where technical development is needed to meet end user requirements with respect to energy efficiency. State-directed technology procurement has already proven an effective means of encouraging more energy-efficient products. The customers are subsidized for their incremental costs related to the risks of using new technology. 

Financing 

No information available.

Cooperation

The total use of energy in Sweden has been relatively stable since 1970 (450 - 500 TWh/year). Energy use has decreased in relation to GDP since the 1970’s, which indicates that energy consumption has to some extent been disassociated from economic growth. As an example, the amount of energy required for living space in buildings has declined from 25.000 kWh/year to 6-8.000 kWh/year.

There are no specific quantifiable targets related to energy or material efficiency per se, but the Government has stated that a substantial improvement in material and energy efficiency will be needed in the medium and long term.

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th, 6th and 7th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: December 1998.

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Forestry Administration, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade is primarily responsible for the forestry sector. Due to the Swedish constitution all decisions suggested by a Minister have to be taken together with and be confirmed by his colleagues in the Government. The Forestry Administration is also a member of the National Coordination Mechanism for Sustainable Development. The National Board of Forestry (NBF) and 24 County Forestry Boards are responsible for the implementation of the Forest Act. In addition to the NBF, the Environmental Protection Agency is charged with evaluating the impact of forest policy on the Convention on Biological Diversity. Informal discussions can take place at various levels, and the initiatives can come from any interested parties. The involvement of interested parties and major groups is a matter of Swedish policy and practice.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In addition to the Forestry Act of 1993, the other legislative instrument improved since UNCED is the Nature Conservation Act, amended in 1994.

In 1998, the government passed a new Environmental Code, a compilation of 16 former laws concerning the usage of natural resources and environmental issues. With this new code, the legal basis for protection of forest land is further improved. The forest policy, legally manifested in the Forestry Act, is standing alone from the Environmental Code but is applied parallel to the latter.

The implementation of the Swedish forest policy is partly founded on voluntary measures. This calls for close co-operation between the forestry sector and the forest authorities. The Forestry Administration has frequent contacts and discussions with forest owners associations at national and regional levels as well as with the forest industries and their national federation.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

The Swedish forest policy is considered as a national programme on forests. The present forest policy from 1993 corresponds among others to the goals set out in the Agenda 21 and the Forest Principles, and is in line with the national sustainable development strategy. Part of this strategy is to formulate cross-sectoral environmental quality goals for different sectors. The National Board of Forestry is the lead agency for one of these cross-sectoral projects, called "Living Forests", which is active on formulating goals regarding the quality of the forest environment. The group is currently elaborating their report to the Swedish government. The advisory board for the project regarding forest industry consists of members from the forest industry, the National Forest Inventory, the Bureau of Central Statistics, National Board of Forestry and the National Environmental Protection Agency. The council for supervision of the environment consists of members from the industry, the municipalities and governmental organisations.

Swedish forest policy demands that environmental values and cultural heritage values should be considered in every commercial activity on all forest land, without compensation to forest owners. For protection of forests through establishment of nature reserves, nature conservation agreements and protection of habitats, forest owners are economically compensated according to the rules that apply for the different instruments. Forest owners can also be compensated, through a specific subsidy, for carrying out more ambitious nature- and culture conserving activities on forest land.

Sweden uses the term "forest land" as that land which is suitable for wood production and is not being significantly used for any other purpose (commercial forests). Sweden's new forest policy, approved in 1993, gives equal emphasis to both environment and production goals, provides for forest management on a multiple-use basis, and gives forest owners greater responsibility in the management of their forest lands. The conservation of natural and man-made forest environments is being reinforced and improved.

The National Board of Forestry has elaborated an "Action Plan for biodiversity and sustainable forestry" in 1995, as part of five similar plans for other sectors. The plan proposes measures to be taken for the preservation and sustainable use of forest resources and for the development of forestry practices based on ecological principles. The work is now being further elaborated in sub-national plans. A sector-principle on the responsibility of each industrial branch for implementing the environmental policy was also established by the Swedish parliament in 1988.

Further development of sustainable forest management systems is a constant priority at national level. Also the social perspective of forest management needs further development to include all stake-holders in forest management and to fully integrate the goals set out in Rio 1992 and in the pan-European process.

The National Environment Protection Agency is preparing a study which will emphasize future expectations in forestry and other sectors. Forest management practices are being experimented on both private and public forest lands.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

The legal status of the reindeer breeding sami people is also presently investigated, both through legal processes started by forest owners and through an official investigation appointed by the government.

Programmes and Projects 

The government is in the process of suggesting new forest areas to be included in the European Ecological Network, Natura 2000. Big forest companies are trying to implement the concept of protecting the biological diversity e.g. by planning, setting aside areas from logging, protecting threatened species etc. The plan to introduce a certification system for forestry in 1997 is also strongly supported by those companies.

The programme for the afforestation of arable land (in keeping with EEC Council Regulation 2080/92) is to be adapted to national conditions. It is intended to contribute towards an abundantand diverse man-made landscape, the conservation of biological diversity and the cultural values of landscapes.

Regarding forest certification, there are mainly two private initiatives in Sweden, and no public ones. A Swedish FSC-working group was established in February 1996 and in June 1997, the working group finalised its draft FSC Standard Proposal to be circulated for comments. The standard was accepted by the international FSC organisation in May 1998 and at present, more than 9 million hectares have been certified in accordance with the national FSC-standard. It is mainly the larger forest companies that use the FSC-standard. The Swedish Federation of Forest Owners' and regional associations of forest owners have developed their own regional standards, adapted to family-based forestry, and they are now working together with the associations of sawmills under the umbrella of the European system PEFC. A common feature of the regional standards is that they are attached to EMAS and/or ISO 14 001. About 400 000 hectares have been certified in accordance with these standards. No evaluation has yet been carried out of either the effects of forest certification on the access of timber to the markets, or on its impact on sustainable forest management. It is however the common opinion in Sweden that certification is one tool among others to promote sustainable forest management and that it is supportive to the achievement of the forest policy goals.

Status 

Swedish forest policy demands for voluntary protection of forests with high natural values. According to the Forestry Act, environmental values and cultural heritage values must be considered in every commercial activity on all forest land. The legally protected forests - nature reserves and national parks - amounts to 3.7 % of productive forest land.

Sweden has made significant progress in the following areas: enhancing public education; including post-graduate education in forest issues; carrying out research projects; improving existing forest programmes; establishing a geographic information database on forests; establishing linkages for the exchange of information; and improving the multiple roles of forests.

Forest land affected by logging amounts to about 1.5 to two thousand square kilometres per year. Acidification affects about ten thousand square kilometres per year. Afforestation is also proceeding, albeit at a moderate rate. While the afforestation rate in the 1980s was about 30 square kilometres per year, it is now approximately 100 square kilometres per year.

The major forest products recycled are currently paper and paperboard. In 1998 the collection of paper and paperboard for recycling in the paper and paperboard industry were 1 400 000 tons. The apparent consumption (= production + import - export. No consideration has been taken to changes in stocks.) of paper and paperboard in Sweden was 1 888 000 tons in 1998, which means that around 74 % of the consumed paper is recycled. The paper not collected is to a certain extent used as fuel in the energy sector. The total consumption of recycled paper and paperboard in the industry were 1 760 000 ton in 1998 (around 17 % of the industry total fibre supply). Of this, 499 000 ton were waste of corrugated cardboard, 993 000 ton were news paper and 268 000 ton were other qualities. Also the construction industry is more and more trying to recycle and reuse different kinds of building waste as well as in the community waste management, where attempts are made to sort out and reuse building wastes.

Challenges

Sweden has made only partial progress in the following areas: the use of remote sensing; the use of environmental impact assessments; promotion of small-scale forest-based industries; and integration of social, economic and ecological values into national economic accounting systems.

The creation of new national reserves, particularly in southern Sweden, has caused some conflicts between small land-owners and the authorities. The land owners are however entitled to a certain compensation for new nature reserves, if restricting logging.

Promotion of the use of wood and wood-based products is presently seen as a task for the forest industry in Sweden. Promotion activities are going on through various institutions and substitution by wood-based materials is developing for certain constructions and products. However, marketing and information activities are on a low level compared to those for competing materials. In recent years several specialised training programmes on wood technology and wood research has been launched, with financing both from the industry and the public.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

For issues on forestry and the reindeer husbandry, there is a contact group within the project, which meets regularly to solve problems on conflicting issues. Part of the work is to provide information and education for stakeholders on the specific conditions for each of the two landuses in order to increase their mutual understanding.

Staffing in the Forestry Administration has been decreasing, from about 2400 professional staff to its present level of about 1500. The number of trained foresters working on forest management and protection is about 5200. The balance among central planning, middle level and field staffing is good.

Although progress has been made in improving education, a higher standard of knowledge is still needed to enable forest owners to be more responsible. Counselling, training and inventories are therefore very important. An inventory of key biotopes and swamp forest lands is to be completed by 1997.

Information 

A National Forest Inventory is carried out annually, covering all types of land use, with particular emphasis on tree resources and forest ecosystems. Production and environmental aspects are equally addressed.

Sweden is actively involved in the Pan-European process and the work done on Criteria and Indicators. The ministerial conference in Lisboa in 1998 adopted the six Criteria for Sustainable Forest Management that has been elaborated on expert level within the process and Sweden is in full agreement with that decision. The documents adopted in both the Helsinki and Lisboa ministerial conferences are currently under translation to Swedish and will then be widely distributed within the forestry sector. The active participation from the forestry sector regarding the development and implementation of decisions of the Pan-European process needs to be strengthened and the translated documents will be used as a tool for such an engagement. Sweden is of the firm opinion that Criteria and Indicators need to be dealt with as separate issues and not always be linked together as seems to be the general practise. Indicators should, to provide effective and useful information, be as site specific as possible. In particular is this relevant for indicators that reflect biological parameters and changes of these over time. Further development of national indicators in Sweden is needed and the National Board of Forestry intends to initiate such a process.

Sweden is the lead country in a joint project, supported by the EU-fund Life, between Sweden, Finland, Denmark, France and Germany entitled "Demonstration of methods to monitor sustainable forestry". The general idea with this project is to test the Pan-European indicators at field-level and testing-areas have been submitted in all participating countries. So far meetings have been held in Sweden and France and others will follow. The results of this project will be used for development of national indicators. The Pan-European indicators, being part of a dynamic process, will be scrutinised accordingly.

Information on sustainable forest management is made available to potential forest users e.g. through campaigns, seminars, publications, and extension and training offered to forest owners and other persons involved in the forestry sector. The National Forestry Administration launches in 1999 a training and information campaign called Greener Forests. The campaign will demonstrate in practice the implementation of the Swedish forest policy, i.e. how forestry can effectively combine high economic production with site adapted nature conservation. The target groups are forest owners and other persons in the forest sector and the goal is to reach around 100 000 people, during a three year period, with different kinds of training and information activities. In addition, special efforts will be made to reach the public, schools, and the international society with information activities.

Information on sustainable forest management can also be accessed via the Internet, e.g. on the following addresses: http://www.svo.se;   http://www.environ.se

Research and Technologies 

No information available.

Financing 

As a result of the decision in Parliament in 1993 on Forest Policy, the state funds for buying forest land for nature reserves, especially in the south and east of Sweden, were increased by 50 percent. In 1999 the Swedish government had recently raised the funds for further protection of forests in the central and southern parts of Sweden.

The budget of the Forestry Administration was US$ 37 million in 1994, one-third of which is state-derived and the remainder from contractual services provided to forest owners and other state authorities. The EU helps finance training in forestry conservation. The afforestation programme has been allocated approximately US$ 24 million annually over a four-year period.

Cooperation

Sweden is actively involved in the Convention on Biological Diversity in the context of the forestry sector. Through silviculture organizations, the government has concluded approximately 100 conservation agreements with forest owners and awarded grants for nature and heritage conservation measures.

Sweden played an active role in the development of the forest principles agreed to at UNCED, and uses these as a basis for its comprehensive aid programme for developing countries and economies in transition. Emphasis is placed on sustainable development and biodiversity.

Sweden has participated actively in the IPF process. We have assessed the relevance of the IPF proposals for action for Swedish forestry and related activities, and relevant parts have been incorporated in our overall forest policy. We have not had a separate implementation process for the IPF proposals for action. Thus, for our actions, please find information under the other subheadings.

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: October 1999.

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The responsibility for Water management is shared by several agencies in Sweden; for example the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, SEPA; the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning; the Swedish Board of Agriculture, and the National Food Administration etc.

The County Administrative Boards are responsible for coordination of water resource management and development and policy at sub-national levels. The mandates of county boards are supervision of environment, permits, and water protection regulations.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Measures to conserve freshwater are in accordance with the Nature Conservation Act. Protection of water areas is in accordance with the Water Act.

Swedish legislation also contains many regulations regarding participation of the public and various stakeholders in the decision-making process (Environmental Protection Act, etc.)The government has initiated a committee to increase the influence of stakeholders in water management (SOU 1997:155).

Sweden has no specific pricing of water abstraction. Every landowner has the right of disposition to the groundwater under the surface. Small lakes are private but larger ones are public domain.

Almost full costs on water production, delivery and waste water treatment are recovered through pricing. The objectives are to reach full cost recovery. There are proposals for charges on pollution and water abstraction, but no decisions have yet been taken.

There is no specific policy for disaster preparedness. However this issue is regulated by The Water Act.

Among the most important legislation and regulatory framework for water management are the Environment Protection Act (last update 1996), Water Act (1997), Natural Resources Act (1996), The Building and Planning Act (1996), the Act on Chemical Products (1996), the Act Concerning Management of Natural Resources (1987:12), the Governmental Bill on the Environment (1990/91: 90), and the Governmental Bill on the Environment Debt (1994)

Relevant to agriculture are the Act on Management of Agricultural Land and for households are Health Protection Act (1996), Act on Public Water- and Waste water plants (1996).

The Natural Resources Act represents an over-arching law through which the use of land and water are interlinked. An amendment to this Act expands the number of rivers and waterways to be protected from hydro-electric development.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

For agricultural use there is no pricing policy. In the case where the water is delivered by the municipality (water company), the industry will pay for the production of water, the delivery and the treating of waste water at cost price.

For household use there is no costs for private wells. Where the water is delivered by the municipality (water company) the households pays for production of water distribution and treating of waste water at cost.

There are no other specific policies for the efficient allocation of water to promote economical development, but permits according to the Water Act and local agreements by water associations can have that effect.

There is a Comprehensive Plan for Integrated Land and Water Management at the municipality level. It is not legally binding, but gives guidelines for implementation of sector-oriented legislation. It gives opportunities for public opinion to be taken into account in the planning process.

There is no system for resolution of conflicts at the national or the district level, but at the community level these issues are included within the Comprehensive Plan. The state has a responsibility for supervision concerning "state interests", health and security issues, plus inter-municipality matters.

Some of the measures that Government is taking to prevent pollution of freshwater supplies are several types of purification equipment, catchcrops, restrictions for usage of pesticides and manure.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

No information available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information available.

Status 

There is generally no shortage of fresh water in Sweden. According to the Swedish EPA, the total volume of fresh water used is approximately 3,6 billion m3per year. Industry uses about 70% of this amount, agriculture 5% and households 15%. The paper and pulp industry is the sector using the largest amounts of fresh water; 1,2 billion m3. (1990). The use of fresh water in households is as follows: personal hygiene: 30%, cooking: 5%, cleaning & carwash 10%, toilets 20%, laundry 15% and dish washing 20%. (1994).

There are no private water distribution plants for households in urban areas. Sweden has about 800.000 private wells. The private sector is responsible for its own water pollution and for a great part of the pollution of environment. Special permits are required, specifying certain restrictions.

Eutrophication of Sweden's water supplies has been a geographically widespread problem for a long time, affecting lakes, watercourses, groundwater, coastal and marine areas. In 1993 the Government initiated an inquiry into ways to improve management of groundwater. A special investigator was appointed in 1995 to review liming activities in lakes and waterways. Sweden is currently implementing an extensive action program aimed at reducing nutrient-rich effluents into freshwater bodies and the sea, with a view to halve land-based sources of marine pollution, particularly of phosphorus. In certain developed areas where water is in short supply and salt water has seeped into individual wells, the problems have become acute in recent years. The objective is to halve land-based emissions of anthropogenic nitrogen to the sea and to achieve a sharp reduction in the emissions of phosphorus. Sweden is currently introducing a new Environmental Code that will be important for water resource management and development. 

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

The Swedish system for collecting information concerning water management (and other environmental issues) is decentralized or sectorized. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency SEPA, Statistics Sweden and the 24 County Administrative Boards collect all the environmental data at national and regional level. The municipalities carry out monitoring at semi-regional and local levels.

To facilitate the work there are several datahosts (for example The Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences). Swedish Board of Agriculture is responsible for collecting information on nutrient losses (nitrogen, phosphorus), pesticides and nitrate in groundwater.

Municipalities are responsible for collecting information on household use and discharges from wastewater treatment plants (nitrogen, BOD, COD, metals) and water usage.

County Administrative Board and Municipalities are responsible for industries and information collected on discharges (nitrogen, phosphorus, metals, organic compounds, other chemicals) and water usage.

Other important information not connected to a certain sector is collected, on an ad hoc basis e.g., information on status in lakes, watercourses, groundwater and marine waters.

Additional information on water quality is collected by the Swedish Geological Survey concerning groundwater and National Food Administration concerning water for drinking purposes.

This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th and 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1998

For national information on eutrophication, click here.

Research and Technologies 

Standards, which are used to measure water quality, including contamination of water by Persistent Organic Pollutants, are ISO, CEN standards and USEPA standard. More than 2 square kilometers of wastewater per year and 100% of urban sewage is treated, but there is no plant for recycling wastewater. The target is 100% sanitation coverage.

Technological needs for wastewater are biological and chemical treatment. Needs for water purification depends on the raw water quality, from no needs to pH-adjustment or more advanced treatment (purification). Private wells have usually no purification for drinking water. They are controlled through the Swedish Food Administrations regulations (SLVFS:1993:35). Nearly 100% of the drinking water from the urban municipality water plants is more or less treated. Private wells have usually no purification at all for drinking water. There are no targets to increase this percentage since there is no need.

Financing 

No information available.

Cooperation

No information available.

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

At the local level, municipalities are responsible for integrated planning. At the regional level, county administrative boards are responsible, and at the national level, the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning is in charge of integrated planning. Only matters with impacts in several municipalities are dealt with the regional level. Central Government is active in land-use planning only through legislation, standards and principles. The National Board of Agriculture is charged with developing an action plan to achieve the ten percent target of "ecologically farmed" acreage by the year 2000.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Act Concerning the Management of Natural Resources (1987), NRL, is to be incorporated into the Environmental Code so as to establish a closer link between land-use and the environment.

From 1999 the Environmental Code is the legislation that covers most environmental problems. The Environmental Code is the result of a major review of the environmental legislation. Specific laws on many subjects such as environmental protection, chemicals, etc. have been brought together in one code. It covers aims and general principles on the relation between human society and the environment. It also covers general land-use principles and replaces the earlier Natural Resources Act and it is also considerably sharpened. Its overall objective is to safeguard a sustainable development.

The Environmental Code is supplemented by the possibility for the government to give binding Environmental Standards for certain areas. The standards can deal with noise, NOx etc. To the Code is also linked 15 Environmental Goals decided by the Parliament, to be of guidance in the implementation of the code.

The Planning and Building Act which governs the more detailed land-use decisions, in comprehensive municipal planning, in detailed planning and in building permits, is not included in the Code.

The Planning and Building Act has however undergone a major review in 1996, strengthening the demands for considerations of sustainable development. The requirements for Environmental Impact Assessments have also been harmonised between physical planning matters and development projects.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

The report Sweden in 2009: Proposals for a vision is presently under review. It outlines the strengthening of urban areas through partnerships, mass transit expansion, and conservation of biological diversity. Mountains and archipelagos are other land areas important to Sweden for purposes of human settlements, forestry, agriculture, tourism and other amenities.

The most important legislation in place to safeguard areas of critical relevance to the Right of Public access is that pertaining to shore protection. It has been extended to include the protection of plant and animal life. The Environmental Protection Agency completed a set of general recommendations on this expanded shore protection in 1995.

In December 1992, a special investigator was appointed to review certain questions in the Planning and Building Act, with a view to examining how planning can make a greater contribution to the prevention of environmental degradation and achieve effective conservation and use of natural resources.

Sweden has introduced a change in policies for the transportation sector. Investments in the road infrastructure are now turned mainly towards safety and environment improvements.

The Environmental Advisory Council presented an analysis of the environmental situation of Sweden's archipelago areas in 1996 and is supposed to propose a strategy to improve conditions in those areas.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

Programmes and Projects 

A three-year subsidy programme of 7 billion Swedish crowns (0,8 billion US $) is also in progress. It is directed towards the municipalities and the purpose is to encourage local investments for sustainable development.

Status 

No information available.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies 

No information available.

Financing 

A three-year subsidy programme of 7 billion Swedish crowns (0,8 billion US $) is also in progress. It is directed towards the municipalities and the purpose is to encourage local investments for sustainable development.

Cooperation

No information available.

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: October 1999.

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MOUNTAINS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

The Swedish policy of preserving nature and biodiversity in general includes the mountain regions. An important part of the area which is set aside as national parks is situated in the mountains. Together with the other Nordic countries Sweden has developed a Nordic Strategy for the Environment which stresses the need to keep the use of mountain regions within the limits imposed by nature's tolerance parameters so as to conserve biodiversity and create an opportunity for sustainable development of reindeer husbandry, tourism and outdoor pursuits. Mountains are very important in terms of forestry, agriculture, tourism and outdoor activity. The Environmental Advisory Council has made a number of proposals on physical planning, tourism, reindeer herding, among others, in its report "Sustainable development in Swedens mountain regions." The report includes assessments of general effects on the environment. Snowmobile traffic has been given special consideration by the Council. The Parliament has recently decided on proposals from the Government concerning sustainable development in the mountain regions including i.a. stricter rules for the use of snowmobiles.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

No information available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information available.

Status 

No information available.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies 

No information available.

Financing 

No information available.

Cooperation

No information available.

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of the Environment is the responsible body for integrated coastal zone management and sustainable development, marine environment protection, and for the conservation of marine living resources. The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for sustainable use of marine living resources. Coordination is ensured by consensus decisions in the Cabinet of the Government. Individual sectors of society are responsible for their own environmental performance, supervised by the environmental sector.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Government Bill Environmental Quality Objectives, proposed in the spring of 1998, states the ways in which the environmental policy should be conducted to achieve the overall objective of handing over to the next generation a society in which the main environmental problems have been solved. These quality goals together with new Environmental Code aim to increase the scope for and stimulate interest in voluntary measures, particularly in industry for improving the environment. (Further information on the new Environmental Code can be found in the section Integrated Decision-Making).

In addition to the Bills mentioned above, the Government also proposed a Bill on Sustainable Fishery and Agriculture in the spring of 1998 which lays down the guiding principles and different measures to be taken in this field. Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Board for Fishery have previously presented National Action Plans for Biological Diversity.

A comprehensive plan has been drawn up for integrated land and water management at local authority level. It is not legally binding but gives guidelines for implementation of sector-oriented legislation. It provides opportunities for public opinion to be considered in the planning process. The Government has a responsibility for the supervision of "state interests", health and security issues and inter-municipal matters.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

The policy on oceans is part of the National Sustainable Development Strategy

The proposed environmental quality goals include the following relating to coastal areas and the sea:

The productive capacity of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea should be sustainable and biological diversity reserved. The coasts and archipelagos should contain a high degree of biological diversity as well as recreational and natural and cultural assets. Industrial activities, recreation and other uses of the sea, coasts and archipelagos should be compatible with sustainable development. Especially valuable areas should be protected against disruptions of various kinds. This implies that the impact of nutrients, pollutants and physical damage must not be allowed to affect the conditions for biological diversity or the productive capacity of the marine environment. Furthermore, fishing, shipping and other uses of seas and water areas, as well as settlements and other developments in coastal and archipelago areas, must take into account the productive capacity of water areas, biological diversity and natural, cultural and recreational assets. Unique marine biotopes have to be protected. Aquatic culture, agriculture, forestry and tourism should be undertaken with due regard for the environment, cultural environment and biological diversity, thus helping to preserve the natural beauty of the archipelago landscapes, cultural assets and variety. Non-indigenous species and genetically modified organisms that may jeopardise biological diversity should not be introduced. Massive accumulations of phytoplankton due to anthropogenic activity should not be allowed to occur. There must be no decline in the distribution and number of plant and animal species as a result of anthropogenic activity. The seaweed communities in the archipelagos of the North Sea and Baltic Sea must be restored to their former depth. Lack of oxygen due to eutrophication should only be allowed to occur very rarely. There should be an acceptably low level of noise from boat traffic.. Natural and cultural environments, recreation needs and the landscape must be taken into account when locating of wind power stations.

Also, concrete targets have been set, and they include:

To summarise, the new goals for eutrophication and hazardous substances are:

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

The contributions of local and national representatives of Major Groups to sustainable development at the national level are considered essential, while those from regional and international Major Groups are considered quite helpful and constructive. In general, Sweden proposes to enhance the transparency and open discussion processes, financial support and the participation of representatives of major groups in official delegations. The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, the Q2000 organization and representatives from trade unions, industry, the scientific community and local authorities are full members of the National Sustainable Development Coordination Mechanism.  

The new Environmental Code enables NGOs to participate in decision making in a substantial form. Major Groups participate in environmental impact assessments at local and national levels, contributing to the design of sustainable development policies and programmes and participating in project implementation. Representatives of Major Groups have been included in the Swedish delegations to sessions of the CSD. They participated in HABITAT II, and were represented on the Swedish delegation to the UN General Assembly. Sweden continues consultations with all representatives of Major Groups on issues linked to sustainable development.

Programmes and Projects 

The Swedish approach to the regulation of activities harmful to the environment also refers to marine environmental protection. A basic principle is to minimise the effects of hazardous activities, using the most modern technologies and considering economic feasibility. National and regional monitoring programmes and the Integrated Coastal Recipient Monitoring programmes identify major marine environmental threats from land-based sources.

Status 

The incidence of Sweden’s sea and lake archipelagos is very rare. A few other areas, including Finland, Canada and outside Scotland, have similar archipelagos. The wide range of ecosystems and plant and animal biotopes provide conditions for a variety of land and water species. In addition, their natural beauty, distinctive cultural heritage and the variety of archipelago landscapes make them invaluable for outdoor activities and recreation. Most of Sweden’s archipelagos have been settled for centuries, an essential element of a flourishing archipelago environment. Active agriculture and fishing are a feature of the cultural environment.

A number of threats hang over the sensitive water environment in Sweden’s archipelagos. Eutrophication is the most serious. The occurrence of persistent organic substances and abnormally high levels of heavy metals in the water, sediment and organisms represent a major environmental problem. The Government view is that the most valuable archipelago shallow-water areas should be given greater protection, since they represent very important marine biotopes. Other important marine habitats particularly susceptible to disruption include seaweed and eelgrass communities, hard bottoms and shallow-water soft bottoms.

The major uses of the coastal areas include major population centres, fishing, tourism, and recipient of industrial effluents. Because of the conflicting interests that compete for the right to use Sweden’s coastal zones, it is essential to take into account the importance of shallow-water bays to marine life when considering development of the coastal zone. Shallow-water coastal areas with soft bottoms, eelgrass communities and mussel banks are very productive and important as feeding and breeding grounds for fish and invertebrates. It is therefore vital for sustainable fisheries that these breeding areas are protected.

The percentage of the economy contributed by fishing is about 0.3 percent according to recent estimates. Sweden continues to actively promote the safeguard of wild salmon.

The remaining environmental problems relating to the protection of the marine environment are linked to different sources of diffuse pollution and impact of the Sea, including the spread of pollutants from other countries in Swedish coastal areas. The primary sources of land-based pollution of the marine environment result from the following: Nutrients come from wastewater treatment plants, agriculture and air-pollution; and hazardous substances from industry and the spread of products. Pulp and paper industries have previously contributed substantially to pollution in coastal areas but large reductions of emissions have been achieved since the 1980īs. The primary source of sea-based pollution is shipping. The major threats on the sustainable management of coastal zones caused by shipping include oil-spills, the spread of ship-generated waste from other countries, the use of hazardous anti-fouling substances and the spread of alien species through ballast-water are severe threats to the coastal zones.

Sweden is currently implementing an extensive action programme aimed at reducing nutrient-rich effluents into freshwater bodies and the sea. All sewage treatment plants designed for at least 10,000 people along the west and south coast, up to and including the Stockholm archipelago, are to be reviewed. The guidelines for such review involve a reduction of nitrates by at least fifty percent. Metal content of the effluents is to be lowered by seventy percent for mercury, cadmium and lead and by fifty percent for other heavy metals for the 1985-1995 period.  

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Work is in progress to ensure that Environmental Impact Assesments are systematically included at an early stage of the political process, such as in the Government Bill on Municipal comprehensive planning under the Planning and Building Act. (See the Section on Integrated Decision-Making)

Several NGOs, as well as involved Governmental agencies, have been engaged in campaigns and other efforts to raise awareness of issues related to sustainable development and the oceans and seas. In addition, Governmental agencies have been active in providing information on a regular basis to the public. 

Information 

There are several databases on coastal and marine management, but they are not as yet integrated. Work on their integration is on-going and several pilot studies have been carried out. Information is available on resources, cultural and socio-economic characteristics and protected areas and wetlands (including mangroves). Since 1992, an assessment of the state of the environment of coastal and marine areas has been carried out annually. A number of monitoring programmes also assess changes in the coastal and marine environment.

Different Government agencies, county and local authorities have for a long time had environmental monitoring systems, surveillance systems and systems for providing information on available natural resources.

The Fishery Board of Sweden provides information to assist both decision-makers and planners related to sustainable management of fishery resources, the Environmental Protection Agency related to marine pollution and living resources other than fish, Swedish Geological Survey related to mineral resources, and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute related to critical uncertainties such as climate change.

Both environmental monitoring and governmental surveillance systems have been established. GIS-systems are used to monitor implementation of relevant laws and regulations.

The Government has developed proposals for key indicators for sustainable development. The indicators will be submitted to the Swedish Parliament annually.

Requests for information on coastal and sea affairs can be channelled through the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency website. [http://www.environ.se/]

Research and Technologies 

The requirement to use the best available technology is established in the law. Sweden continues to develop policies, strategies, steering instruments and technologies for reducing environmental impact. Where applicable, experiences are shared with others in bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

One of the tasks of the Swedish National Board for Industrial and Technical Development (NUTEK) is to bring together stakeholders with a view to promote and improve the selection, transfer and application of environmentally sound technologies. 

Financing 

The polluter-pays-principle is established in environmental legislation in Sweden. The polluters themselves are responsible for financing measures to reduce the impact of their own activities and to monitor the environmental effects. In addition, governmental funds are available for remedial measures in certain cases, national and regional monitoring and surveillance programmes as well as for supervision.

While the national and regional monitoring programmes are funded by the Government, the coastal recipient programmes are funded by the users.  

Cooperation

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed in 1982 and ratified in 1996.

Sweden participates in the following other Multilateral Agreements:

Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic,

Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea region,

Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by dumping of Wastes and other matter.

Convention on Straddling Fish Stocks,

Convention on Biological Diversity,

The Bonn Agreement, and

IMO

An action programme was adopted by countries in the Baltic region to safeguard and restore the ecological balance of the Baltic Sea. The programme includes a focus on 132 sources of effluents from neighbouring countries. Of 124 major sources of pollution in the Baltic region, eight are from Sweden. A third report on the Baltic states is being compiled under the aegis of the Helsinki Commission, HELCOM.

During a meeting of the heads of government in the Baltic Sea Region held in Visby, May 1996, the decision was taken to develop an Agenda 21 for the Baltic Region. Subsequently, at a meeting of the ministers of the environment in October 1996, the scope and strategy were determined and the main sectoral issues identified for consideration when developing the agenda. Baltic 21: Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region, was adopted by the foreign ministers at the Council of the Baltic Sea States Meeting in June 22-23, 1998. The Agenda is constructed as an action plan for sustainable development in the region, drawn up jointly in a partnership of nations, international organisations, business, NGOs and international financial institutes. Baltic 21 focuses on Agriculture, Energy, Fisheries, Forestry, Industry, Tourism, Transport and Spatial Planning.

The 1992 OSPAR Convention on the Protection of the North East Atlantic was ratified by all contracting parties of the previous Oslo and Paris Conventions and has contributed substantially to the protection of the marine environment. Important work in progress is mainly related to the protection of habitats and species, objectives and strategy to combat eutrophication, decision on dumping near of offshore installations and objectives and strategy regarding hazardous substances.

A number of important political commitments made at various North Sea Conferences relating to the protection of the marine environment that have been or will be implemented in other legislative fora. Specific issues of high importance in this context are problems related to eutrophication and hazardous substances.

Regarding assistance to developing countries, Sweden was the second leading DAC member in 1995 with respect to ODA/GNP ratio at 0.89 per cent, and the eighth largest in absolute terms with US$ 2 billion in disbursements. Since 1988 Sweden has had a policy objective for all development assistance of promoting the sustainable use of natural resources and protecting the environment. Environmental Impact Assessments have been compulsory for all development projects since 1991. Lately, Sweden has been involved in bilateral and multilateral projects related to Integrated Coastal Zone Management in several regions of the world.

* * *

This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th and 7th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: December 1998.

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of the Environment is the body mainly responsible for the issues related to this chapter. The County Administrative Boards bear responsibility for coordination at the regional level. 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The following legislation is related to the management of toxic chemicals: the Act on Chemical Products (1985:426), the Sanitation Act (1979/596, revised in 1994), and the Ecocycle Bill (1993). The National Chemicals Inspectorate is charged with proposing actions to minimize the hazards entailed by various PVC additives. Actions include phase-out targets, labelling guidelines, disposal and EIAs. They are also charged with questions related to minimizing the use of heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium as well as other chemicals, which pose unacceptable hazards to man or the environment.

Swedish law on chemicals control contains scientific, product and handling targets aimed at helping supervisory authorities ensure that businesses do what is needed to reduce and eliminate dangers to the environment and health.

The principle of substitution is regulated in the Act on Chemical Products. This principle means that industry is required, whenever possible, to replace dangerous substances and products with those that present less risk to health and the environment. Also, the precautionary principle is mentioned in the Act on chemical products. (The precautionary principle refers to where there are threats of serious or irreversible harm, lack or full scientific certainty about the cause and effects of environmental harm shall not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation.)

A continuous effort is made with the view to reducing the exposure of the environment to hazardous chemicals. .A Government Commission was appointed with the task to review Swedish chemicals policy against the background of Sweden's accession to the European Union, and a possibly changed risk picture caused by the use of chemicals. A new Government Bill will be issued in the beginning of 1998 with detailed proposals on how to further minimise the risks of chemicals.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

No information available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

Sweden chaired a Round Table Meeting of Ministers and CEO's in January 1996 to initiate a dialogue between industry and governments with regard to the fulfillment of Agenda 21.

Programmes and Projects 

No information available.

Status

Approximately 45,000 chemical substances and about 20,000 preparations are marketed for use in Sweden at present. A Government bill containing proposals and targets for the control of chemicals has been taken by Parliament providing the basis for further priorities in the national chemical risk reduction work. Efforts to restrict the total number of chemicals have focused mainly on total or partial reductions of compounds which are particularly hazardous to health and the environment. While some of the reduction targets have not been met, there is a downward trend in the use of toxic chemicals. One of the underlying principles of chemicals control is that manufacturers and importers are primarily responsible for the chemical substances, products or goods which they deliver and that the use does not cause harm.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies 

No information available.

Financing 

No information available.

Cooperation

Sweden participated in and hosted the 1994 International Conference on Chemical Safety (ICCS), which constituted itself as the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) and also elected Sweden as President for the period up to and including the Second Forum. The Government contributed funding for the participation of developing countries in the conference. Special efforts are being made to promote expertise in the control of chemicals among certain developing and eastern European countries. Sweden is actively pursues policy on chemicals within the EU and globally, such as through UNEP.

* * *

This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For national information on persistent organic chemicals (POPs), click here.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of the Environment is the body mainly responsible for the issues related to this chapter. The County Administrative Boards bear responsibility for coordination at the regional level. The following legislation covers the relevant issues: The Waste Collection and Disposal Act, the Ecocycle Bill (1993), and the Sanitation Act (1994). In 1995, the secretariat of the Waste Management Research Council was transferred to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Environmental Protection Agency is charged with developing quantitative targets and actions for

- the improved management of wastes. This includes developing criteria for the types of waste to be received at landfills and incineration plants, among others. The Environment Code Commission is currently engaged in a review of waste management legislation, with particular reference to the allocation of responsibilities between different agents (e.g., producers, municipalities and contractors).

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Government has proposed a ban on the deposit of assorted combustible waste from the year 2002 and on organic waste in 2005. A tax on unsorted waste is about to be introduced.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

Examples of targets for enhancing waste reduction:

Type of waste Target(%) Result (%)      
    1992 1994 1995 1996
Paper 75 63 65 70 73
Reused bottles & cans 95 98-100 97 97-98 98
Glass 55 55 56 61 72
Aluminium 50 - - - 19
Plastic 30 - 5 5 15
Tires 80 - - 66 85

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

The local authorities bear full responsibility for overall waste management, and it is their obligation to draft special waste management plans. In most municipalities, source separation of household waste encompasses paper, glass, batteries and other hazardous waste.

Programmes and Projects 

No information available.

Status 

Total waste deposit in Sweden amounted to approximately 4,800,000 tonnes per year in 1997 compared with 6,000,000 tonnes in 1994. Estimates made by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency show that households are responsible for almost 50% of environmentally harmful emissions. Households generate about 30% or 3,2 million tonnes of municipal waste in Sweden. On a per capita basis, this amounts to 360 kg per person and year. About 40% of the waste from households is disposed of, t 40% is combusted as fuel for energy and approximately 15 % is recycled. Excluding mining and agriculture, the industrial sector generates a total of 14 million tonnes waste (1993), 70% of which was combusted or recycled . Around 200, 000 tonnes of toxic waste was produced.

Nitrogen reduction is introduced at a number of coastal municipal wastewater purification plants. This introduction continues.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies 

A study has been started by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities, the Federation of Swedish Farmers, and the Swedish Water and Waste Water Works Association, together with a number of experimental municipalities, to monitor developments in, and develop targets for, environmentally appropriate water supply and sewerage systems.

Financing 

No information available.

Cooperation

Sweden is pressing the EU for the codification of the producer pays principle and for future EU law to be more encompassing.

The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) is taking part in direct investments in about ten different projects at sewage treatment plants.

* * *

This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th and 7th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: December 1998.

For national information on waste, click here.

 

Hazardous Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of the Environment is the body mainly responsible for these issues. The County Administrative Boards bear responsibility for coordination at the regional level.   The Environmental Protection Agency is charged with investigating the extent of illegal export and import of hazardous waste to and from Sweden, and to suggest suitable means to address this problem.  The Environmental Protection Agency is also charged with the control of permits for exports and imports.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

 The following legislation covers issues related to this chapter: the Waste Collection and Disposal Act, the Ecocycle Bill (1993), and the Sanitation Act (1979/596, revised 1994). A special investigator has reviewed the collection and disposal of all batteries dangerous to the environment and has proposed a tax on cadmium batteries. Appropriate amendments will be introduced based on the findings of the investigators report. Sweden has an ordinance which divides waste into differing degrees of danger to supplement the EC Transport Regulation. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

In the relevant section of Agenda 21 it is said that Governments should ascertain that their military establishments conform to their nationally applicable norms in the treatment and disposal of hazardous waste. An environmental policy has been drawn up for the Swedish Armed Forces. The objectives in this policy state, among other things that the utilisation of resources, environmental hazards and the possibilities of reuse are to be taken into account in conjunction with procurement or modification of the materiels. Environmentally harmful substances and activities are successively replaced with less harmful ones.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

The industrial sector is encouraged to bear greater responsibility for the management of hazardous waste. As much waste as possible has to be recovered and recycled. 

Programmes and Projects 

No information available.

Status 

Waste is also to be classified, transported and managed safely in environmental terms. Targets have been set for the collection of hazardous wastes, some of which have not been met. For example, the collection of nickel-cadmium batteries had only a 35% take-back rate compared to the target of 90% for July 1995.

Industries generate as much as 75% of the total wastes generated in Sweden. Of the industries, the mining sector generates the most waste.

About 4,000 landfills have been shut down, with about 300 remaining, and industries have separate deposit sites of their own. About 50 landfills have equipment to recuperate methane gas formed as a result of anaerobic digestion. An on-going survey has identified about 800 industrially contaminated sites. Five hundred of these require further investigation and action. Metals account for the most serious cause of contamination, followed by toxic chemicals.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies 

No information available.

Financing 

No information available.

Cooperation

Sweden is actively involved in the international ban against the exportation of hazardous wastes to non-OECD countries. Exported waste fell significantly in 1992 over previous years, in large part due to new regulation restricting such exports, particularly to non-OECD countries. The recession was also a contributing factor.

As an addition to the Basel Convention, Sweden and the EU, together with Norway, secured a ban on the export of hazardous waste for recovery from OECD to non-OECD countries, which enters into force on 1 January 1998. Sweden is pressing the EU to upgrade a number of hazardous wastes listed for export prohibition ("yellow list") under the Basel Convention.

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed in 1989 and ratified before 1 July 1992.

* * *

This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

 

Radioactive Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

In its inspection work, the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate (SKI) systematically evaluates the organization of its nuclear power plants and safety culture. There is often a shortage of in-house specialist expertise within different areas, and this may lead to too great a dependency on consultants. The radiation levels recently measured in Sweden pose no risk of serious effects to human health. Safety at Swedish nuclear power stations is monitored by the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate (SKI). Emissions into the air and water have been low, but some plants have suffered an increased amount of radiation. The main reason for this is the growing use of older reactors. The National Radiation Protection Institute (SSI) has entered into special discussions with the power industry on how to counter this trend.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

No information available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

No information available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information available.

Status 

As a result of the issue of additional dose limit regulation by the SSI, the number of individuals with high doses of radiation in Sweden has decreased significantly. Radiation doses to the public in the vicinity of the plants are consistently below the limits. This is considered a reflection of the favourable dilution conditions.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies 

Management of spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste at the nuclear power plants and at the central interim storage facility and the repository for radioactive operational waste is being handled satisfactorily. The plants' emergency response systems are also considered to be satisfactory. Nonetheless, inspections have revealed some minor deficiencies in procedures and documentation. Uncertainties remain surrounding the factors which may limit the lifetime of Sweden's reactors.

Financing 

No information available.

Cooperation

No information available.

* * *

This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

For national information on waste, click here.
For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:


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