The local forestry programme for Koli and Hattusaari villages
The local forestry programme for Koli and Hattusaari villages presents the objectives of the twovillage community for the development of forest resource use during the next ten years and examines strategies for sustainable use and opportunities for development of the whole area’s forest resources. In addition, it also includes a description of the current status of the forests and identifies sources of financing for community initiatives. It is the first forestry programme prepared at such a local level in Finland. The aim of the process leading to the programme was to identify the kinds of opportunities offered by the forests that could provide a basis for the development of local livelihoods and enhance the vitality of this rural area.
Preparation of the forestry programme was carried out at the village level, in the form of a local working group, composed of village members. Additional support for the work of the group came from public events and international exchange visits. A description of the current status of the two village area utilized local expertise, statistical data, previous plans and reports, land use regulations and maps, specialists in different areas, and current information from the Internet that was provided by different organizations. The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) provided technical support for the preparation of the programme, calculated alternative scenarios for the use and development of the forest resources, and compiled information on possible sources of financing. The Regional Forestry Centre of North Karelia (RFC, Metsäkeskus Pohjois-Karjala) compiled the information on privately-owned forest resources and the harvesting and silvicultural operations related to them for the forestry programme, while the Forest Management Association of North Karelia (FMA, Metsänhoitoyhdistys Pohjois-Karjala) calculated job opportunities based on this information. The role of these two organizations was also to support and give guidance to forest owners (for instance individual forest plans for forest owners and their holdings formulated by the RFC) during the process.
For the forestry programme the working group produced a list of important objectives based on the values of the forests. The objectives that are related to the commercial use of the wood resources and developing their use also as fuel included: having productive forests; improving wood quality; increasing the amount of fuelwood harvested and used; and reducing damage caused by moose and utilising compensation for this damage. RFC and FMA were regarded as important players to reaching these goals. The necessary measures for meeting these objectives were identified as performing silvicultural operations to unmanaged seedling and sapling stands, correctly scheduling silvicultural treatments, increasing the level of pruning, harvesting fuelwood from unmanaged thinning stands and also from final fellings of spruce-dominated stands, increasing the use of fuelwood, and preventing tree damage by moose. The working group members especially wished for more training and guidance to be given to forest owners, in particular targeted to aid in identifying the possibilities for financial support for silvicultural measures.
The objectives related to other values of forests for the programme identified by the working group included: restoration and maintenance of existing footpaths outside of Koli National Park, implementation of an extension to Herajärvi Trail, opening scenic views at important sites, developing the content of nature-based tourist services, and increasing the utilization of the summer theatre venue and other places of cultural value. The working group regarded cooperation between different operators and organizations as important to achieving these objectives. Funding for the future projects come from regional sources such as the Employment and Economic Development Centre of North Karelia (Työvoima- ja elinkeinokeskus) or through development programmes for rural areas such as the European Union funded Leader Programme for Vaara-Karjala. Objectives related to employment stressed the need for more jobs. Measures listed in the programme to meet this goal were hiring a special village forest worker and support for creating a local fuelwood cooperative.
The local forestry programme establishes matters that are highlighted or actively pursued by the community. The programme can also now be used as a supporting document, when funding for local development projects is sought. In addition, the programme offers a tool for analysing the views of the local community on the use of forest resources in the preparation for regional and national forestry programmes, as well as regional plans. A broader benefit of this pilot project is that the planning methods that have emerged as a by-product can be utilized further in other rural areas, where the coexistence of forest-based livelihoods with other uses of forests is found to be challenging.
Distribution of the publication
Leena Kettunen, Metla/Joensuu, p. 010 211 3139, leena.kettunen @ metla.fi
|Updated:||12.05.2008 / REsk||Metla : Publications : Other publications|