Everything is connected with everything. Rarely has the term such validity as when it comes to the balance in nature. If a small insect goes extinct, it may have serious consequences for entire ecosystems. In vulnerable areas, the smallest interference from humans might change everything.
The Norwegian countryside as we know it is not to be taken for granted. About a thousand Norwegian species are critically or severely threatened. What ripple effects there might be for other species and their habitats if these disappear, we do not know.
Nature is constantly changing, adapting, and developing. Ecosystems change and species die out, while new ones appear through evolution. These are natural processes that take place over a very long time. But the current species extinction happens probably more than a thousand times faster than what we consider natural.
Although we need a rational nature management, this does not mean we should not harvest and use of Norwegian nature. A rich and varied nature provides us with valuable goods like food, water, medicines, building materials, clothing, safety, health and new technology. Cultural landscapes are also part of our natural heritage and must be protected.
Nature also has a great intrinsic value. The value of biodiversity, the joy of natural wonders and recreation are difficult to measure. Because of this, nature often loses in the fight against economic interests and other social considerations.
Preserving our natural values depends on a sound management and good politics. We need laws and rules ensuring that the pressure on the fragile nature does not become too great.
Intact areas of wilderness is a very scarce resource, even in Norway. Although parliament has voted to spare such areas, the reality is that they are increasingly diminishing. Friends of the Earth Norway believes that both the intrinsic and societal value of a diverse and intact nature speaks for its protection.
Without progressive and ambitious legislation, we will not be able to secure our wonderful natural heritage for future generations.