Organizations and Networks in Europe and the USA
Edited by C. S.A. (Kris) van Koppen and William T. Markham
Chapter 9: The Historical and Contemporary Roles of Nature Protection Organizations in Sweden
Magnus Boström INTRODUCTION The Swedish environmental movement today is dominated by three major environmental organizations, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Greenpeace Nordic. The fact that SSNC and WWF, the two largest, have their origins in the nature protection movement suggests that nature protection is not only signiﬁcant for the historical origin of the Swedish environmental movement, but remains an important part of if. Nevertheless, over their histories, the roles, strategies, identities and framings of nature protection organizations have been repeatedly transformed as a result of changing social context. This chapter describes and analyses the development of the Swedish nature protection movement in relation to such changes, including the growth of a state administration for nature protection, the rise of the environmental movement, and, more recently, the ‘greening of business’. Sweden is an especially interesting case for three reasons. First, it has much nature and wilderness to save. As in the USA, Swedish citizens have long sought out experiences, adventures, silence and recreation in rivers, forests and mountains distant from urban areas, and the Swedish right of legal access to private land for everyone (allemansrätten) is very unusual. Second, Sweden has been viewed as a frontrunner in environmental protection. For example, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), established in 1967, was the ﬁrst agency of its kind (Lundqvist 1971; Jamison et al. 1990, p. 14). A third reason is Sweden’s characteristic political culture, with its cooperative ideals, preference...
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