Forests are an important part of Finland. If you think of a typical Finnish landscape, the most dominating element in that view is forest. Perhaps it’s no surprise to hear that Finland is covered mostly by forests.
Forests are of course important to Finland’s economy, but they also have a huge impact Finns wellbeing, are necessary to nature’s diversity and help to fight against climate change. All in all, forests are a big part of Finland’s identity.
Finland is a Land of Forests
Finland has over 20 million hectares of land available for wood production. It means that forest areas cover more than 75 per cent of the Finland’s land area. This makes Finland the most forested country in Europe when comparing proportional forest areas.
Finnish forests represent about 10 per cent of all forest areas in Europe (excluding Russia). Finland is the eight largest country in Europe, but has fifth largest wood resources only behind Russia, France, Sweden and Germany.
Finland’s Wood Resources are Growing
Finland’s wood resources have been monitored since the 1920’s and nowadays situation looks better than ever before because Finland’s green resources are growing. In 2020 the total reduction in wood resources was approximately 83,5 million cubic metres.
This includes roundwood removals (about 69 million cubic metres), logging residues left in the forest and the old trees which died for natural causes. In 2020 the total annual growth of Finnish forests was approximately 108 million cubic metres. This means that the wood resources keep on growing.
This has been the case for the past decades. Today the growing stock volume in Finland’s forests is about 2.5 billion cubic meters. This is 1.7 times the growing stock volume first recorded in the 1920’s.
Protecting the Green Assets
Forest are so important to Finland, that forests must be protected. Almost three million hectares, about 12,6 per of the Finland’s forest area is protected or under restricted use. This is the highest share in Europe. And even though every forest area isn’t protected, the destruction of forest is still prohibited in Finland. If the trees are logged down, it’s the forest owner’s responsibility to make sure that the forest is being renewed.