Dresdner Klimaaktivist

Huge win in Sweden: We changed the fate of wetlands!

Published on 17th May 2024.

In August 2022 I participated in a blockade of the central bridge in Stockholm, to demand restoring the wetlands. My protest with Restore Wetlands (Swedish: Återställ Våtmarker) resulted in 16 days in prison for me and several thousand euros in legal fees to courts and lawyers. Now, we won! We are leaving the highway and skipping the glue!

Everyone wants to restore wetlands now! Our job with the wetlands is done. We will no longer glue ourselves to the highway with our Restore Wetlands banners. Restore Wetlands declare victory. Peaceful civil resistance works. With victory behind us, we will step-up our fight against the peat industry and the harmful peat mines.

We have done our job! In just two years since the campaign started, we have:


  • Created a media revolution and brought attention to the wetlands to an estimated value of 848 million SEK! Our marketing value is almost one billion SEK - calculated using Meltwater!
  • The attention has educated the Swedish people about the climate impact of drained wetlands and subsequently created a massive public opinion for wetland restoration. 75% of the Swedish people now think it is important to restore wetlands.
  • At the same time, there has been a big debate in Sweden, both in the media and among people, about the climate benefit of wetlands - 4,500 articles have been written about Restoring Wetlands both nationally and internationally.
  • The massive public opinion has made all parties in parliament stand behind restoring wetlands, and this year the government has made wetland restoration one of their three prioritized points in their climate policy. 
  • There is hope! Peaceful civil resistance is an effective way to change a destructive system.


Through our campaign, we have put the issue of dried out wetlands at the top of the political agenda. The government has made wetland restoration a priority area in its climate policy. The climate minister herself mentions wetlands, electrification and carbon dioxide capture as top priorities. Because of the work we’ve been doing for two years, politicians have now been forced to take a stance on wetlands. We have shown that peaceful civil resistance is an effective way to change society and are now passing on the baton. We have sat on the highways and risked our lives. Now everyone knows that wetlands play a crucial role in drastically reducing CO₂ emissions, that they replenish groundwater, prevent floods and are absolutely crucial in reducing the spread of forest fires. Now it is up to the politicians, the county administrations, and the landowners to put all the talented excavation contractors to work to implement the national crisis project Sweden needs to actually restore the wetlands.


Several newspapers say that it’s because of the Restore Wetlands campaign that the politicians have now made wetland restoration a priority. Svenska Dagbladet wrote “Their message has gone from incomprehensible to actual politics. Climate activism that has actually created change”. When Aftonbladet summarized the government's climate policy, the article author referred to the Restore Wetlands campaign in relation to the government's investment in wetlands. Omni writes bluntly that the reform takes place after Restore Wetlands' attention-grabbing actions. The head of culture at Expressen wrote, after our Monet campaign in May 2023, “Now I too want to restore wetlands”. The successes of Restore Wetlands are many more than that. We have succeeded in creating a debate not only about the importance of wetlands, but also in highlighting the seriousness of the fact that we are facing a climate collapse.

The political party The Liberals have even used the Restore Wetlands brand and banner in their own social media campaign. Everyone wants to restore wetlands now. There is not a single political party that doesn’t think that wetlands must be restored. 

By sitting on motorways and appearing on live TV, we have succeeded in carrying out one of the biggest public education campaigns. After two years of peaceful resistance, we have succeeded in educating almost the entire Swedish people about the importance of wetlands. The former swamps and bogs are now seen as the vital and crucial biological systems for our survival they truly are. We declare victory for the wetlands.


Since we started the campaign, we have been mentioned in over 4,500 articles both nationally and internationally. 


Going forward, Restore Wetlands will focus on climate-damaging peat and fight to shut down the peat industry. An industry that is speeding up the deadly climate collapse and is a hotspot for carbon dioxide emissions according to wetland scientists. In the midst of a burning climate crisis, county administrations are opening up 89 new peat mines and the political party The Moderates would like to resume the use of peat used as energy fuel. Peat is a fossil material and provides dirtier energy than oil, coal and gas. We will continue to be stubborn and troublesome. We will not give up until there is a ban on peat mining in Sweden.

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