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State of Finland's Forests 2012: Basic concepts and
information sources

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The definition of forest

FOREST in this report denotes forest land and low productive forest land. As per the Finnish definition, there are 23 million hectares of forest in Finland. This classification has been in use in Finland since the 1950s, for over 60 years.

Finnish classification based on site productivity (growth during the rotation period):

  • On forest land, the potential annual increment for the rotation period is at least 1 cubic metre per hectare per year.
  • Low productive forest land (scrub land) is mainly exposed bedrock, scree or mires, where the annual increment is less than 1 but more than 0.1 cubic metres per hectare per year for the rotation period.
  • Other land areas for forestry (wasteland) consist of completely or almost treeless areas with a growth potential of less than 0.1 cubic metres per hectare per year for the rotation period.
  • Forestry land includes, in addition to the above: forest roads, permanent storage areas and plots reserved for the use of forest management, etc.

The definition of forest used by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in its forest statistics, based on crown density:

  • Forest: Land with tree crown cover of more than 10% and area of more than 0.5 ha. The trees should be able to reach a minimum height of 5 metres at maturity in situ. By this definition, the area of forest land in Finland is about 3% smaller than the sum of the aforementioned forest land and scrub land areas, i.e. 23 million hectares.
  • Other wooded land: Land with either a tree crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of 5%–10% of trees able to reach a height of 5 metres at maturity in situ; or a crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of more than 10% of trees not able to reach a height of 5 metres at maturity in situ.

The Finnish National Forest Inventories have applied the international classification (FAO) parallel with the national classification scheme since the 9th inventory (1996–2003). The international classification is necessary for the preparation of international statistics and for international debate on forests.

 

Regional districts of the Finnish Forestry Centre

In this report, results are presented by the regional districts of the Finnish Forestry Centre . ‘Southern Finland’ comprises the province of Åland and regional districts 1a to 10. ‘Northern Finland’ comprises regional districts 11 to 13 in the regions of Kainuu, North Ostrobothnia and Lapland.

The regional districts of the Finnish Forestry Centre function as the administrative division of forestry in Finland. Most of the information concerning forest resources, such as the data from forest inventories, is presented both as national averages and as averages for the individual regional districts.
Source: Finnish Statistical Yearbook of Forestry 2011.

 

Key information sources

The National Forest Inventory (NFI) maintained by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) generates annually updated information on the state of Finland’s forests. Results from field measurements can be nowadays transferred wireless in real time to office data banks and computers.

This report is based on the most up-to-date and accurate data and information available in each context. A great number of sources has thus been used. Sources are quoted with tables, illustrations and figures. The principal sources are the National Forest Inventory (forest resources monitoring system) and the Finnish Statistical Yearbook of Forestry.

The development of forest resources in Finland is monitored over a wide range in the National Forest Inventory (NFI) maintained by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla). The first systematic inventory of forests was conducted as far back as in 1921–1924, and as a result Finland has exceptionally long time series on the development of forest resources. The forest resource data in the inventory are based on diverse on-site surveys conducted on test plots selected on the basis of a systematic statistical sample. There is a regular network of such test plots covering the entire country. When surveys are combined with satellite images and numerical data, findings can be calculated for smaller areas such as individual municipalities or discrete forest areas. Today, the NFI generates annually updated information on trends in forest resources and the state of the forests.

The Finnish Statistical Yearbook of Forestry published by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) is an annual summary of the key statistics in the Finnish forest sector. The Yearbook contains data on forest resources and also information and statistics on the natural environment in forests, on the multiple use of forests, on environmental issues, and on the production of and trade in roundwood and forest industry products. As with the NFI, many of the statistics are based on the findings of the extensive research conducted by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) and separate reports.

The statistics published in the Finnish Statistical Yearbook of Forestry and the findings of the NFI are available both in printed form and online at Metinfo Services1. The detailed NFI forest resources report is also published annually as a supplement to forest science journal Metsätieteen aikakauskirja.

The Finnish Environment Institute is commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment to conduct assessments of the threatened species in Finland’s every 10 years and assessments of the status of Finland’s biotopes at regular intervals.

Links

Definition of Forest

Regional districts of the Finnish Forestry Centre

Key information sources

 

1 National Forest Inventory – Statistics of Forest Resources www.metla.fi/metinfo/vmi

  Updated: 12.04.2012 /MLier |  Photo: Erkki Oksanen, Metla, unless otherwise stated | Copyright Metla | Feedback