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Results of 10th Finnish National Forest Inventory (NFI 10)

Finnish forest sector is affected by weakening economic development

Finnish forest industry production on the decrease

International collaboration - Focus on Forest Experiments

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  RESEARCH NEWS

Results of 10th Finnish National Forest Inventory (NFI 10):
Forest growing stock over 2.2 billion cubic metres


According to the latest surveys carried out by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), the growing stock of Finnish forests amounts to 2.2 billion m3. The annual increment of growing stock is approaching 100 million m3, being 99.1 million m3. For almost 40 years the standing volume in Finnish forests has continuously risen and is now about 47% higher than in the late 1960s. The results are based on the measurements over the years 2004–2007 of the 10th National Forest Inventory.

The growing stock of Finnish forests amounts to 2.2 billion m3. In 2000–2007 the annual increment of growing stock was 99.2 million m3. For almost 40 years the standing volume in Finnish forests has continuously risen and is now about 47% higher than it was in the late 1960s. Half of the growing stock is Scots pine (1.10 billion m3), about one-third Norway spruce, 16% common white and silver birch, and 3% other broadleaved and coniferous stock. Compared to the previous inventory (NFI 9, 1996–2003), timber resources of Finnish forests have increased from 2.1 billion m3 to 2.2 billion m3. The increase consists of Scots pine and broadleaved stock; the volume of Norway spruce has decreased. This is explained by the different age structures of the tree species: on average, Scots pine and broadleaved forests are younger stands at the stage of rapid growth, and Norway spruce forests are older and have had more cutting possibilities. Since the mid-1970s the annual increment of growing stock in Finland has exceeded the annual drain (roundwood removal, cutting wastes, natural mortality) by 20–30%. The annual roundwood removal of growing stock was about 57 million m3 per year during the period 2003–2007. The Metla research team has calculated that the maximum sustainable annual removal of roundwood during the years 2007–2016 is about 71 million m3.

The methodology for field measurements was changed for NFI10 so that measurements were made throughout the country each year. This made it possible, for the first time, to get up-to-date inventory results for different regions concurrently. The main users of the forest information are national forest and environment authorities, the forest industry, and the Regional Forestry Centres that also have participated in the data collection in the most recent inventory.

Finnish forest resources and the state of forests have been monitored by Metla through National Forest Inventories since the 1920s. The inventories produce objective and up-to-date information on forest resources, forest health conditions and their development for national and regional decision-making.

The 11th NFI will start in 2009 and will be completed by 2013. The future challenge of the NFI11 is to develop the methodology so that the NFI can meet the new information needs and provide relevant data for decision-making. New information needs are related to greenhouse gas reporting according to international agreements and estimation of forest biomass resources and wood properties in relation to different end-use requirements.

The most recent inventory results are available at Metla´s Metinfo-service www.metla.fi/ohjelma/vmi/vmi10-info-en.htm and annually in the latest Finnish Statistical Yearbook of Forestry www.metla.fi/julkaisut/metsatilastollinenvsk/index-en.htm

More information on Finland’s National Forest Inventory: www.metla.fi/ohjelma/vmi/vmi10- info-en.htm

Forest sector is affected by weakening economic development

The declining economic growth in the export market has diminished demand for Finnish forest industry products. As a result of the slowing down in construction, the export price of sawn timber has fallen and the production quantities have diminished by about one-fifth from last year. Paper production capacity has been cut back in Finland and in Europe, and the price level has risen slightly. The diminished profitability of the forest industry is not expected to show any significant improvement before the prices of end products clearly start to rise.

More information: www.metla.fi/tiedotteet/2008/2008-10-29-suhdannekatsaus-en.htm

Forest industry production on the decrease

The demand for Finnish forest industry products in 2008 has been adversely affected by the slowdown in euro area GDP growth, the drop in housing construction, the high level of interest rates and the uncertainties on the financial markets. Sawnwood production and sawnwood export volumes and prices are down in 2008 by about one fifth on the figures for 2007, which was a boom year in the sawmilling industry. Production and exports in the paper industry are also down in 2008.

More information: www.metla.fi/tiedotteet/2008/2008-12-10-economic-outlook-en.htm

International collaboration -

Focus on Forest Experiments

Long-term forest experiments have provided researchers with solid empirical information on forest ecology and management for many decades in the past. Present economic conditions make it difficult to maintain the previous level and intensity of experimentation. Subsequently, we risk losing a considerable amount of information, while at the same time, the demands and expectations on forest research are increasing dramatically due to climate change and bioenergy utilisation.

More information: www.metla.fi/tiedotteet/2009/2009-02-02-forest-experiments-en.htm