ANC Tapiola is concerned about Finnish forest environment.
Finland has committed to achieve the objectives of the Council of State 2012. The principle is to reduce the loss of forest biodiversity until 2020. It is obvious, that the goal is already unattainable.
According to Statistics Finland, forests cover 219 350 square km of Finland’s ground area. Only 7,29% is protected by law. Especially in Southern-Finland the conservation areas are small and quite far apart from each other.
The age structure of Finnish forests has changed dramatically during the last 100 years. The amount of old forests has decreased. Only about 5% of forests are 200 years old and in Southern-Finland the situation is even worse: about 0,1%.
The amount of endangered species has increased. According to the estimate made in 2010, up to 814 species are dependent on the forest environment. Ordinary species like willow tits, crested tits and bullfinches have decreased.
The government has reduced the allocation of volunteer conservation program METSO by 70%. The original goal was to protect 96 000 hectare of forests in Finland by the year 2025. The Finnish Forest Centre has failed to offer the METSO-program as an alternative for forestry and land-owners.
The diversity of forest biotopes is increasingly endangered and the main reason lays in the forest industry. The government wants to increase logging as far as 80 million cubic meters until 2025. This is not sustainable development and researchers have expressed their concerns about these procedures.
The Finnish Forest Centre has failed to observe and supervise forest management. Biotopes under the Forest Law 10§ are not recognized properly and the law is continuously violated for example in S-W Finland.
The ecosystem services, provided by forests are not recognized. Natural resources services providing well-fare and eco-tourism need more attention.
We suggest that Finland push continuous growth within the forest industry, as continuous growth provides a more sustainable way to make profit.
Reija Laurila Sari Kantinkoski