Participatory forest planning

Forestry planning in Finland is based on wide participation.

Non-governmental organisations and other sectors of the society participate widely in the planning procedures concerning the use of Finnish forests. Co-operation with stakeholders is an essential part of the Nordic democracy, and the same applies to Finnish forestry.

This is why all essential decisions in Finnish forestry are prepared in a broad-based stakeholder co-operation. Not only all branches of the Government authorities as well as business life are invited to participate, but also recreational and environmental non-governmental organisations, trade unions and, where relevant, also private citizens.

Planning processes based on this kind of broad-based participation in the Finnish forestry areall nature protection programmes, for example. Special attention has been paid to participation in the planning of old-growth forest protection in Finland.

Sustainability has always been the target of the Finnish forest legislation. In the 1990’s the value of ecological and social sustainability was brought on a par with that of economic sustainability. In the Forest Act of 2014, the goals of forest owners were prioritazed, whereas previous legislation had aimed at increasing forests’ growth and ensuring the availability of raw material needed by the forest industries.

Preparation of the Environmental Programme for Finnish Forestry in the 1990’s was carried out in broad-based stakeholder participation as well as the regional Natural Resource Plans and Landscape Ecological Plans in state-owned forests.

National Forest Strategy 2025 was prepared in wide cooperation. Its follow-ups and enforcement in the Forestry Council and Regional Forestry Councils are carried out by the same principles.

Close to 90 percent of Finnish forests are certified under the international PEFC system. All who want to can participate in the functions of the PEFC Finland – Finnish Forest Certification Council, which maintains and develops the Finnish PEFC system. The criteria for ceritification are drawn up in an open process, which is independent from the Finnish Forest Certification Council.

In Finland, there are also forests certified according to another global forest certification system, the FSC. Share of these forests of commercial forests in Finland is some six percent.

Updated on the 30th of December, 2015.


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