Forests

Finland’s Biodiversity Action Plan comprises five actions for forests (actions 45–49). Their current phase of implementation is mostly advanced. In the end of 2018, three actions were considered to have turned into established practice and one action was proceeding according to plan. However, the implementation of forest protection needs stepping up.

Budget cuts in the Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland (METSO) have hampered achieving the hectare goals for the protection of private forests. Since 2018 the funding has been reincreased, but the implementation of the programme still lags behind original schedule (action 45; needs a boost).

The National Forest Programme changed in 2015 into the National Forest Strategy, but it includes the corresponding improvement goals for forest management as its predecessor. So far, the forest legislation, the recommendations on forest management, and the Act on the Financing of Sustainable Forestry have been revised (action 46; established practice).

Regional cooperation on nature conservation of private forests has been developed in three to six network projects annually (action 47; proceeding according to plan).

The biodiversity of state-owned commercial forests is protected according to the revised Metsähallitus Environmental Guide for Forestry published in 2018 (action 48; established practice).

During the latest action plan period, two National Hiking Areas have been turned into national parks. At the same time, Metsähallitus has by its own decision founded two new hiking areas, at the Arctic Circle and in Inari (action 49; established action).