The National Forest Programme’s update for 2015 was published today and has the aim of ensuring that sustainable felling opportunities are utilised to their full extent. This is a fine objective because the opportunities for generating value-added from Finnish wood should be taken advantage of. According to the Finnish Forest Research Institute, some 70 million cubic metres of wood can be extracted sustainably from Finland’s forests each year.
“The primary objective of the National Forest Programme should be the safeguarding of timber supply. Wood is needed to manufacture both existing and new products as well as for the attainment of renewable energy targets, which are being raised constantly. Over a fifth of sustainable felling opportunities are left untapped annually because wood does not come onto the market. A forest policy that facilitates the market entry of wood is needed to safeguard timber supply, in addition to which we need counselling and marketing services that activate forest owners as well as a shared desire to ensure a secure supply of wood on the part of all of the actors in the forest-based sector,” says Senior Vice President Anders Portin, who is in charge of the Forestry and Infrastructure section of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.
The market entry of domestic wood must be facilitated by all available means. Increasing the effectiveness of counselling and marketing aimed at forest owners as well as making more services that facilitate forestry and timber sales available could spur owners, who have so far been inactive with regard to their forest assets, into action. Making effective use of forest resource data, which is collected with State funding, can help communicate information about available services to interested forest owners.
Investing in forest management and forest improvement boosts wood production; this also increases the amount of forest biomass, which is needed in the generation of renewable energy. It is possible to enhance the profitability of forestry and arouse interest in active forest ownership by improving the cost-effectiveness of forestry, speeding up generational transitions and increasing the average size of holdings.
The many different uses forests can be put to have been reconciled successfully in Finland, and this effort should continue. Alternative harvesting methods should also be identified for forest owners, who value non-mainstream solutions.
Further information, Senior Vice President Anders Portin, +358 9 132 6610, +358 40 586 6179