Metsä ja Puu [Forest and timber] 2012

Metsä ja puu opinion poll was carried out by independent research company Taloustutkimus for the Finnish Forest Association. The goal of the poll was to clarify Finns’ attitudes towards forestry and forest industry as well as to find what Finns know about forest ownership, forest protection and the share of forest industry products in export income. The previous similar opinion poll was conducted in May-June 2009. Prior to that, the poll has been carried out ten times since 1993, always with similar questions.

This most recent Metsä ja puu -poll was arranged as 1,004 face-to-face interviews representing Finns between the ages of 15 and 79 years. The margin of error due to statistical reasons is at most 3.2 percent in either direction.

The interviews were carried out in March 2012.

Below, we present the questions, the range of answers as well as short description of the answers. The picture next to the text functions as a link to the replies in PDF format.

Besides the Finns’ answers in the poll, we give the correct information where it is relevant. The source for this information is the Finnish Statistical Yearbook of Forestry 2011, unless otherwise stated.

Metsä ja puu opinion poll was financed by Finnish Forest Foundation.

Author

Finnish Forest Association

Added files

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    1 The largest group of forest owners

    The share of those respondents, who think the state is the biggest forest owner in Finland, has decreased some. Only 26 percent knew that private individuals and families is the largest forest owner group in Finland. Private persons and families own 52, the state 35 and the forest industries 8 percent of Finnish forests. On productive forest land, the share of familiy forest owners is even bigger. The PDF has two pages.
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    2 Forest industry's share of exports

    A quarter of respondents put the share of forest industry products of Finnish exports within the range of 15-24 percent. They were right as the share is about 20 percent. (Source: Finnish Forest Industries Federation)
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    3 The share of protected forests

    As in previous polls, the respondents overestimate the share of protected forests in Finnish forests, but the estimate is smaller than in previous polls. The median of the answers is 10 percent which means that there are as many replies in either side of the figure. If one figure is used to describe the share of protected forests in Finland, the one used by the environmental authorities would be the choice. This figure is about 9 percent and it is the share of strictly protected forests in productive and low-productive forests.
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    4 Standard of forest management in neighbouring forests

    79 percent thought that the forests in their neighbourhood are managed very well or fairly well. There is no major changes in the range of answers compared to previous polls. 17 percent consider the quality of the management of neighbourhood forests rather low or very low.
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    5 The sufficiency of protected forests nearby

    Two out of three thought the extent of forest protection nearby is sufficient. The share of those who think it is insufficient decreased from 28 to 24 percent; the share of those who could not say increased by the same amount.
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    6 The sufficiency of forests for recreation

    Nearly 90 percent said that there are enough forests in Finland for recreation such as getting a bit of fresh air or picking berries or mushrooms. This share has even increased a bit since the previous poll.
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    7 Standard of forest management

    88 percent of the respondents thought that the standard of forest management in Finland is very high or fairly high. There are no major changes in the figures since the previous poll.
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    8 Share of protected forests in Finland and Europe

    The respondents were asked to rate the forest protection in Finland compared to that in other European countries. 38 percent thought that Finland has more protected forests than is general in Europe, 30 percent thought the level is similar and 22 percent thought Finland has less protected forests than other European countries. According to the international COST E4 survey, Finland has proportionally more protected forest land than any other European country. The share of Finns who know this has decreased since 2007, when their share was 47 percent.
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    9a Forest-based welfare and recovered paper

    Four out of five believe that Finland's welfare will be based on forests also in the future. The share of those who definitely agree with the statement has increased clearly. Half of the respondents think that only a small share of used paper is recycled in Finland. According to the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, 70 percent of used paper is recycled.
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    9b Loggings as a threat to nature; loggings vs. forest growth

    About half of the respondents believe that loggings threaten the abundance of animals and plants in Finland. The share has decreased clearly from the previous poll. 64 percent think that Finnish forests grow more than is felled - and they are correct. 29 percent thought the opposite. The annual growth is around 100 million cubic meters and sustainable annual fellings would be around 70 million cubic meters. For example, in 2010 the fellings were 57 million cubic meters. Annual fellings have been well below the annual growth for a long time.
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    9c Forest professionals' expertise and use of forests

    The majority, 90 percent, agreed that forest professionals know how to manage Finnish forests. The figure has stayed on that level for a long time. Three out of four agreed that the use of forests should be intensified in order to improve employment and the standard of living. The share has been similar for a long time.
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    9d Sufficiency of timber raw material and protection of forests

    Over 80 percent of respondents agreed that there is plenty of wood available to be used as raw material in Finnish forests. The share of respondents agreeing with the statement has increased slightly since 2005. 65 percent agree that there are enough protected forests in Finland. On the other hand, 30 percent disagreed with the statement. Both shares are similar as in previous study.
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    9e Forest management in regard to nature and use of wood in construction

    66 percent of respondents agreed or definitely agreed with the statement that forest management has improved during the past ten years in regard to forest nature. The share has, however, decreased from the previous poll and the share of those with no opinion has increased. The share of people thinking that more wood should be used in construction continues to increase and is now 85 percent.
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    9f Protection versus employment

    Fewer respondents than before believe that increasing forest protection would lead to unemployement in the forest sector. Currently 35 percent think there is a connection between protection and unemployement whereas in 2003 the figure was 48 percent.
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    10 Industries as source of welfare

    The respondents were asked to rate the industries in regard to maintaining Finnish welfare. 80 percent felt that Finnish welfare is mainly based on forest industry. This share has increased somewhat since the previous poll. The figure for metal industry decreased by 4, electronics and IT by 10 and construction by 3 percent. The PDF has two pages.
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    11 The competitiveness of industries

    The belief in the international competitiveness of Finnish forest industry has recovered its steep decrease of 2009 back to the level of 2005: currently 73 percent believe in the forest industries ability to cope with competition. In regard to metal and construction industries, the figures have not much changed from the previous poll. However, the share of those believing in the competitiveness of electronics and IT industry has collapsed by 17 percent to 64 percent. The PDF has two pages.
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    12 The most reliable source of forest management information

    The appreciation of forest professionals and forest researchers as the most reliable source of forest management information has decreased. 33 percent consider forest professionals as the most reliable source. 24 percent rate the forest researchers are the most reliable - in 2007, this figure was 33 percent. In 2005 49 percent said forest researchers are the most or second most reliable source of forest management information. There has been no big changes in the reliability of forest owners, ENGOs, journalists and politicians but the reliability of MTK and representatives of forest industries has increased some. Proportionally the share of uncertain has increased the most. The PDF has three pages.
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    13 The most reliable source of forest biodiversity information

    Forest researchers got the most backing as the most reliable source of forest biodiversity information, 30 percent, but their share had decreased some. Forest professionals got the second most backing, 24 percent and the ENGO representatives third, 22 percent. The PDF has three pages.
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    14 The most reliable environmental organization

    When the respondents were asked which environmental organisation is the most reliable source of forest management information 48 percent named the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation. This figure has not changed much and the FANC has gotten most backing every time this question has been asked in the Metsä ja puu poll. The second most reliable organisation is WWF with the share of 24 percent. The reliability of WWF has suffered a major decrease; in 2007 36 percent considered WWF as the most reliable. The share of Greenpeace was 4 percent. The share of those without opinion increased the most.
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    15 Forest chips in biofuel production

    The share of those who want to increase the use of forest chips in energy production has decreased from 79 percent to 72 percent. This question was asked for the second time only.
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    16 Effects of increasing forest chips use

    The respondents were asked their opinion on the statement "increasing manufacturing and use of forest chips endangers the forest biodiversity". 55 percent disagreed with the statement and 33 percent agreed with it. The share of those disagreeing increased from the previous time and the share of those agreeing decreased. The question was asked for the second time only.
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    18 Forest ownerships of the respondents

    The respondents were asked whether their household owns forest. According to the answers, 25 percent own forest but 11 percent own only five hectares or less.The result corresponds rather well with Finns' forest ownership in general.

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