Increased citizen confidence in how Finnish forests are used

Finnish citizens consider that Finnish forests are being well maintained. Finns also trust in the skills of forest professionals. These are some of the results of the Metsä ja puu [Forest and timber] opinion poll commissioned by the Finnish Forest Association.

A couple of years ago there was a change in people’s self-reported trust in the forest sector, and the trend seems to be strengthening further. The Metsä ja puu opinion poll includes many types of questions measuring the trust, and the responses to all of them show that the trust is on the increase. Previous poll was carried out in 2012 (to see the detailed results, go straightly to the end of this release).

The respondents know that the volume of growth in Finnish forests is greater than the volume harvested. An increasing number of respondents think that there is sufficient raw material in the forests for the needs of industry. Likewise, an increasing number state that Finland’s well-being will rely on forests even in the future.

More people than before think that the use of forests should be intensified in order to improve the employment rate and the standard of living and that, from the viewpoint of the maintenance of forest nature, forestry activity has improved during the last ten years.

An increasing share of the respondents, 86 percent, agree at least somewhat that the forest industry is the most important branch of industry in terms of creating and maintaining well-being and prosperity in Finland. The respondents also consider that it does better in international competition than other branches.

In issues dealing with forest management, the respondents placed the highest trust in forest professionals and researchers. As regards safeguarding biodiversity, researchers were rated as the most trustworthy, followed by forest professionals and environmental organisations with more or less equal shares.

The most trusted environmental organisation was the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation. Support for the WWF, rated as second, continues on a downward trend. Only two percent of the respondents trusted in Greenpeace.

As regards the respondents’ estimate of the share of protected forests of all Finnish forests, the median of the responses was ten percent, which is relatively close to the correct figure. Two thirds of the respondents considered that the share of protected forests is sufficient in both their own vicinity and the whole country.

Nearly half of the respondents thought, and quite correctly, that the area of protected forests in Finland is greater than the average of other European countries. Almost all respondents felt that there are enough forests suitable for recreation in Finland.

The Metsä ja puu opinion poll has been conducted since 1993 using methods that ensure result comparability. A total of 1,012 persons were interviewed, representing Finns between the ages of 15 and 79 and living in mainland Finland (that is, the residents of Åland were excluded).

The interviews were carried out in November and December in 2015 as part of the Omnibus survey by the Taloustutkimus research company. The statistical error is 3.2 percent at most in either direction.

More detailed information on the poll results can be found below. The Metsä ja puu opinion poll was funded by the Metsämiesten Säätiö Foundation and the Finnish Forest Foundation.

For more information, please contact:

  • Mr. Anders Portin, Executive Director, Finnish Forest Association, tel: +358 40 586 6179
  • Mr. Hannes Mäntyranta, communications coordinator, Finnish Forest Association, tel: +358 50 351 2413

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