FINLANDíS NATIONAL FOREST STRATEGY HIGHLIGHTS CLIMATE-SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY
EU plans yet another set of criteria for sustainable forestry! The brand-new update of Finland’s national forest strategy up to 2025 introduces new goals, including climate-sustainable forestry; new, wood-based products and an international forest policy that could encompass the European Union, for example. Until now, the thinking was that the results sought by these new goals would be reached by implementing the other goals in the strategy. By including them in the list of goals, the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry wants to highlight their fundamental importance for the sustainable use of the country’s forests.
Climate may be considered a self-evident factor: it must be taken into account in all human activity. The strategy looks for new ways to increase the climate-sustainability of forest use. These could include increasing the diversity of tree species in forests, improving forestry methods and preventing forest damage. ’We have also listed needs for additional research, such as on the feasibility of any carbon compensations and the links between supporting biodiversity and preventing climate change,’ says Katja Matveinen, Forest Specialist at the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Matveinen considers that the climate-wise forestry launched by the Finnish state-owned forest company Metsähallitus last November could provide useful models for the development work. ’One of the climate goals is familiar: increasing forest growth. Here we can make use of the road map to resource-wise forestry created by Natural Resources Institute Finland,’ says Matveinen. Providing useful solutions enables forests to be used. The goal of developing new, wood-based products may actually be crucial for the forest sector: no sector can survive simply by being sustainable; it is necessary to produce something useful that people are prepared to pay for. As things stand now, the use of forests already provides a wide range of solutions for both individuals and humankind as a whole, and new wood-based products are launched all the time. According to Matveinen, the strategy will support this activity by, for example, funding research and development. The body in charge of this project is the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. ’The strategy states that the preparation of an international forest policy in Finland will be enhanced by involving the stakeholders, such as the industries and forest owners,’ says Heikki Granholm, Forest Counsellor at the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. At the moment, the EU Commission’s initiative on sustainable finance is keeping the ministry busy. ”The objective is good: to ensure that finance is only channelled into sustainable activity. However, it does not take into consideration that the member states and various stakeholders in the forest sector already have many tools to take care of sustainability; instead, they want to develop yet another set of criteria to ensure this,’ says Granholm.
For more information contact Mr Anders Portin, General Manager: FINNISH FOREST ASSOCIATION Salomonkatu 17-A FI-00100 HELSINKI / Finland Ph. +358 9 6850880 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org