According to an international classification of the OECD, more than 40 per cent of Finnish people live in rural areas, and the rural areas cover more than 95 per cent of the surface area in Finland. More than a third of Finns have a dual identity: they feel that they are both urban and rural.

A major part of our resources, both material and immaterial, is located in the rural areas. Rural areas are connected as part of the development of the bioeconomy and its possibilities, as in practice, all of the resources of renewable energy are located in the countryside.

Potential to be taken into use

Research carried out by the Natural Resources Institute of Finland produces solutions regarding, for example, the development and monitoring of rural policy, the ability of small and medium-sized enterprises to regenerate and the necessary operating preconditions, the development of rural areas and their local support, the resilience and sustainable development of  rural areas, as well as decentralised solutions. The objective is to identify new possibilities with rural areas and to create new sustainable sources of livelihood and well-being.

For example, in order to advance the bioeconomy, the Natural Resources Institute of Finland is studying how resources used for regional development could be used more efficiently. With the help of information produced by development and research projects relating to rural areas, national and local decision-making is also supported.