metsä © Pauliina Heinänen / WWF

WWF Finland’s Forest Vision

Forests are important to Finns in many ways and they are our main natural resource. Forests provide habitats for tens of thousands of species.

Forestry, intensive land use, and ditching of peatlands have had a major effect on Finnish nature. Our mission is, that by the year 2025, the biodiversity of Finnish forests is secured by protecting forests sufficiently and practicing ecologically sustainable forestry. By these means, the forests also benefit people the most.

By the year 2025:

Benefits of biodiverse forests are known and acknowledged

Biodiverse forests contribute to human well-being in various ways. Forests have remarkable effects on both mental and physical health. Finns consider maintaining biodiversity as the most important issue in forest related decision-making. Further, forests are a significant carbon stock, and sink and wood based products can substitute poor alternatives from climate perspective.

  • Health and well-being benefits provided by forests are acknowledged in forest related decision-making. Monetary value of ecosystem services is used in as baseline information in decision-making.
  • Sizes of clear-cuttings are decreased remarkably and the clear-cutting method is abandoned close to residential areas and areas valuable for scenery and nature.
  • Forests used for wood production provide work and well-being in a large scale. Wood industry focuses on high value added products.
  • The effects of the use of forests are fully taken into account.

Forest protection is 17 %

Nature conservation areas provide habitats for many declined species. The diverse nature benefits people.

  • At the minimum, 17 % of forest land is protected representatively both geographically and by biotopes. All natural forests are protected.
  • Nature conservation is a significant part of state owned forests. Metsähallitus’ (a state enterprise that administers more than 12 million hectares of state-owned land and water areas) goal for revenue and cuttings has decreased significantly.
  • METSO-programme (voluntary forest protection programme for private lands) is a permanent programme for protecting forest biodiversity. It’s financing and resources are secured.

Forestry is ecologically sustainable

Forests can be used more sustainably by leaving dead wood in forests and following FSC-certificate. Uneven-aged forest management is a better option in many places because of scenery and water protection.

  • The amount of decaying wood is increased to 15 m3 per hectare on average.
  • FSC-certified forests cover 50 per cent of Finnish forestry land and all state owned forests are FSC-certified.
  • FSC standard is further developed to contribute biodiversity protection in forestry lands.
  • Forest extension is client-oriented and provides multiple options. Uneven-aged forestry is an established forest management method.
  • Forestry does not cause water damages. Ditching is mainly abandoned and in peatlands uneven-aged methods are put into operation. Possible soil preparation is made carefully and lightly.
  • Legislation acknowledges biodiversity, threatened species and biotopes. Environmentally harmful subsidies have been disbanded.
  • Bioenergy utilization does not harm forest ecosystems or climate, and does not weaken forest species’ living conditions. Stumps are not removed.

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