Sustainable Forestry since the 19th Centrury
The word “Allmänning” refers to a communally owned or worked land. Allmänning forests were established in the inland councils of Norrbotten and Västerbotten in the 19th Century through a process called “Avvittring”. Avvittring is the redistribution of crown owned territory to the individual villages and homesteads. The purpose was to create a permanent support for farmers that would protect against the rapid sawmill industry expansion in Sweden during this period. Jokkmokk’s Allmänning was established on the 27th November 1886 at a land owner’s meeting in Jokkmokk chaired by the county governer H.A Widmark. Read more about the history of Allmänning here.
An important function of Jokkmokk Allmänningen has historically been to ensure that forestry growth benefitted the community at large through reinvesting profits gained from forest sales. These incomes have furthermore lead to the ability to finance new forest plantations, drainage schemes, manure fertilisation and other reforestation actions. Allmänningen has maintained and developed large areas of significant natural value through practising responsible management since its creation in the 19th Century. A large area of this land is now being considered for Nature Reserves. Negotiations are currently in progress with the Swedish Governmental Environmental Agency (Naturvårdsverket) regarding replacement land, with a lower natural worth, in exchange for the areas which qualify as having a high environmental protection status. The government is participating in the process to assist with the preservation of biological diversity in the region.
The roll of Allmänningen in the community
The territory of Allmänningen now accounts for approximately 81 000 hectares of land, of which 63 000 hectares is productive forest. Each year around 6 MSek is paid out to shareholders and local projects. Renumeration is reviewed annually and presented at the Autumn meeting where the Allmänning budget is approved. Ordinary meetings are held twice a year. Here are some examples of renumerations:
- Reforestation activities
- Forestry Preservation activities
- Construction of Roads
- Renovation of Forest Tracks
- Grants for agriculture
- Other renumeration that benefits the community
In 2004 Jokkmokks Allmänning AB, a daughter company to Jokkmokks Allmänning, was grounded. This company is ran with the same guiding principles as the 19th Century i.e. to make Jokkmokk attractive for its inhabitants and to fund local development projects. The company mainly supports companies with investment capital and provides co-financing together with external financial institutions to facilitate business investments in Jokkmokk.