A new forest biodiversity action programme was completed at the end of 2007 to be put into practice in 2008. The action programme was prepared in a working group with several stakeholders, including forest industries.The actions are based on appropriate means, voluntary initiative of forest owners, co-operation and cost-effectiveness.
The Finnish Forest Industries Federation considers the protection measures based on voluntary initiative should be introduced across the board nationwide. A sufficient appropriation must be made in the central government budget for implementing the programme. Management of existing protected areas must also be secured through sufficient funding. Research aimed at solving practical biodiversity issues must be continued.
Finland has a larger percentage of strictly protected forests than other European countries on average, 8.2%, or almost 1.9 million hectares. In other European countries, the comparable figure is of the order of 2% to 3%.
Most of Finland’s protected forests are in northern Finland, where 14.7% of the forest area is strictly protected; by contrast, in southern Finland the figure is only 1.8%.
The Finnish Forest Industries Federation considers that further protection issues should be managed through the voluntary measures developed under the METSO programme and through natural management in commercial forests.