New legislation on access to forest information to boost supply of forestry services

News |
Applicants must justify their requests for information and only forestry-associated services may be marketed.

The Finnish Parliament passed the Act on the Forestry Centre’s Forest Information System in February. The Act is due to come into force at the beginning of 2012. 

This Act determines the rules for using forest resource information compiled by Forestry Centres in the marketing of forestry services to forest owners. 

Contact information can be mined using the following selection criteria:
• address of owner 
• domicile
• age
• gender
• first language or preferred language
• information on how long the property has been in the ownership or possession of the person in question
• location of holding (municipality or village)
• suggestions for action regarding forestry work or felling or the timing of such measures

Forest owner’s privacy ensured in all circumstances

The law contains no loopholes with regard to the privacy protection of forest owners. Contact information like addresses or telephone numbers is never disclosed for marketing purposes if the forest owner has forbidden this. Disclosure of all other information requires approval from the forest owner. Disclosure of contact information for electronic direct marketing using, for example, e-mail or text messages is likewise subject to the consent of the forest owner.

Forestry services for appropriately timed forestry measures 

More effective utilisation of forest resource data will furnish forestry service providers with the opportunity to market appropriate services at the right time. It is important to perform forestry measures at the right time in order to ensure forest growth, the profitability of forest ownership and safeguard the supply of timber for the forest industry.

A growing forestry services market improves the position of forest owners. In particular owners who live far away from their forest holdings or for some other reason require expert assistance and contract work will benefit from increased marketing.

Making more efficient use of a taxpayer-funded database

Forestry Centres gather annual forest resource data from an area covering almost one million hectares. The data is used to facilitate the drafting of holding-specific forestry plans as well as for monitoring the development of the region’s forest assets and the promotion of other aspects of the forestry.

A goal of the Act has been to ensure an equal competitive standing for the various actors of the forestry services market by making it possible for all service providers to access the publicly funded database under the same terms and conditions.

Further information:
Jouni Väkevä, Senior Adviser (Forestry), tel. +358 9 132 6620