Protecting Nature
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Protecting Nature

Organizations and Networks in Europe and the USA

Edited by C. S.A. (Kris) van Koppen and William T. Markham

Providing a detailed description of all the major nature protection organizations and networks, including overviews of their current membership, activities, and as far as available, budgets, Protecting Nature will be of great interest to lecturers and postgraduate students in social science fields, as well as researchers in the fields of environmental policy, environmental NGOs, social movements, civil society, nature management and policy. Members of nature protection, environmental and other civil society organizations who seek a better understanding of the historical development of nature protection organizations and networks, as well as the strategies employed by those organizations, will also find much to interest them in this book.
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Chapter 9: The Historical and Contemporary Roles of Nature Protection Organizations in Sweden

Magnus Boström


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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