Most of Finland’s protected forests are in northern Finland, where 15.8% of the forest area is strictly protected; by contrast, in southern Finland the figure is only 2.3%.
Some shortcomings in forest protection have been found in southern Finland. Certain structural features in forests such as dead wood, burnt wood, large aspen trees and hardwood trees are particularly important for safeguarding biodiversity. Certain forest habitats are rare or are becoming rare in southern Finland, e.g. herb-rich forests, spruce mires, south-facing slopes of eskers, swampy woodlands and wooded flood meadows.
Further protection of these habitats should be managed through the voluntary measures developed under the METSO programme and through natural management in commercial forests.