The Forest Academy: 24 years of experience in building social capital

Advanced group work methods are an essential part of the Forest Academy. Photo: Erkki Oksanen.

The Forest Academy communication programme and concept are produced by the Finnish Forest Association – a non-governmental, non-profit cooperation and communication body connecting all major forest-related interests in Finland.

In Finland, the Forest Academy communication programme has been running successfully since 1996 and it enjoys strong support from the forest sector, the government, and civil society. Indeed, participants are personally invited by a letter signed by the Finnish Prime Minister.

Since 1996, the Finnish Forest Association has organized 47 forums and so far, some 1 500 decision-makers, two-thirds of them from outside the forest sector, have participated. Each year, we also invite the members of the network to other events we organise and communicate with them through our newsletters, emails, and our website including the Forest Academy -blog. Read more about Forest Academy.

The Forest Academy for Decision-Makers has received much valued recognition from Finnish forest sector organizations.

The Forest Academy communication programme has been developed into a communication concept called “Forest Academy – A Programme for Increasing Dialogue around Forests in Society”. Our concept is based not only on the experiences gathered from the Finnish Forest Academy but also from the four international Forest Academy Finland forums. These took place over 2003 and 2004 and was tailored to meet the needs of forest-related decision-makers in, what were then new EU member countries.

The Finnish Forest Association has also organised a variety of other international events for decision-makers. In close collaboration with our Swedish neighbours, we are currently running the Forest Academy for EU Decision Makers during 2018-2020 Our partner organisation in this project is the Swedish Forest Agency – Skogsstyrelsen. The first Forest Academy took place in Southern Finland in November 2018 and the second will take place in Sweden in May 2020. Read more about the project.

The Forest Academy communication framework can be tailored to meet the different needs and conditions of each country. The programme has already been implemented in Latvia, Tanzania (with the UONGOZI Institute), Costa Rica (with CATIE) and Mozambique (with E. Mondlane University).

Read more about “Finnish Forest Academy goes Mozambique”.


Background of the particpants of the Finnish Forest Academy in 1996-2017.
Background of participants at the Finnish Forest Academy between 1996-2017.