You probably know already that 12 percent of Finnish forest area is today protected by environmental and ecological reasons. But did you know that forestry has brought to Finland 229 billion euros export revenues since 1995? You know that we have such a strong populations of moose, bear, and wolf that we need carefully to hunt them in order to maintain the balance and harmony between their pray and people living in forests.
But did you know, that since year 2000, timber sales have brought 24 billion euros of revenues for ordinary private citizens, who owns over 60% of all Finnish forests. Every fifth Finn owns forest area or has forest owner in his/her family, which spreads the income nicely to remarkable number of ordinary people throughout the country. Forestry also offers numerous working opportunities for people living in rural areas; this has also been always an important part of social sustainability.
Despite of the remarkable economic impact of forest industry and intensive wood use, we have more trees in our forest than ever before.
If you have been in Finland, you know that we have a lot of forests and trees. But did you know that despite of the remarkable economic impact of forest industry and intensive wood use, we have more trees in our forest than ever before. Nowadays there are about 80 billion trees and both the number of trees and total volume of forests are growing even if we increase our annual use of forests from the current level. This increased growth of forest means more carbon from air bound into trees and into the forest products replacing fossil based materials. Good for climate and climate targets.
You may know that we did large clear-cuttings in 1950’s and 1960´s when we were building the basis of our society. At that time we introduced intensive forest management practices based on monocultures and large units. But did you know that those large clearcuttings are now nice mixed-species forests again, our forest management is certified and biodiversity has been promoted for decades by introducing more diverse harvesting.
Sustainability is not only ecological sustainability.
Of course you know that Finland has three major companies in world top ten producing pulp and paper. But did you know that our companies are also making textile fibers, biodiesel, bioethanol, and developing dozens of other bioproducts and green industrial symbioses based on forests and trees.
Sustainability is not only ecological sustainability. If it would be, we would not have bioeconomy or economical welfare in the future in our country. Today, one fifth of our export is coming from forest-based bioeconomy. Sustainability in bioeconomy as you know is the balanced combination of ecological, economic, social, and cultural sustainability.
We want to benchmark.
If you know some other country, in which renewable forest resource has equal importance for the economy and which has done things better than we have, please, bring it in! We want to benchmark it and to be better in the future.
Forests are tremendous source of sustainable welfare and wellness and we want to keep it that way – forever.
Principal scientist and group manager Lauri Sikanen, Luke
Director Taneli Kolström, Luke