From Jan. 1. 2015, Metla is part of the Natural Resources Institute Finland.
Metla-etusivuTutkimusPalvelutJulkaisutMetinfo-metsätietopalvelutTutkimusmetsätTietoa MetlastaStrategiaYhteystiedot

Research Programme:

Research and Development Programme on Forest Resource Information Systems and Forest Planning (MSU) 2007 - 2010

Sitemap | Search


Forest planning integrates information about decision alternatives and their consequences with the multiple goals in different planning situations to support decision making concerning the use and management of forests.

Strategic forest planning at national level covers forests in all ownership categories (NIPF, company, state and others) and has been supported by calculations based on sample plot and tree data from national forest inventory (NFI).

Forest planning of companies and state is based on their own real-time forest information systems.

Forest planning for private forests (about 14 mill. hectare of forest land) is based on planning products and services provided by regional Forestry Centres (about 90 %), Forest Management Associations, forest companies and private forest service providers.

For private forests, comprehensive and homogenous forest data are collected by Forestry Centres using standwise inventory, covering also forest properties (private estates) which have not ordered the planning product. This standwise data collection is funded by the government. The government budget for the year 2007 include 15,9 million euros for this process with the aim to collect stand data for 910 000 hectares. Because of the financial support of the government, planning products and services cost only about 5-10 euros per hectare for forest owners. Internet plan, offered by Forestry Centres for extra charge, is nowadays an optional product for forest owners.

Forest Management Associations, forest companies (Tornator, Stora-Enso, UPM and Metsäliitto) and forest service providers offer various forest services, including planning and forest mensuration services. Furthermore there is a variety of internet services for forest owners. Fifth Element Oy and by Oy Arbonaut Ltd. are the main internet service providers for forest planning in Finland.


The objective of the programme is to support the development of forest planning systems and forest resource information systems used and maintained for planning purposes in different forest organizations.

The programme has two focus areas:

  • forest monitoring, planning and improvement tasks at the regional level, including the maintenance of regional forest information and
  • planning of forest management and wood sales at the forest owner level, including the continuous maintenance of stand level forest data.

The core of the programme is the network of actors (operators) in forestry and researchers with research and development interests related to, for example,

  • activity models and ICT-applications for forest planning and its data collection tasks, and
  • cost-efficient integration of forest information and ICT-applications into various forest planning tasks and forest resource information systems used in them.

The aim is to facilitate the interaction between the actors in forestry, producers of forest information, developers of ICT-applications and researchers. The role of the programme co-ordination is to offer support services for this interaction.


databases, forest management planning, forest mensuration, forestry extension, geographic information systems, information and communication technology, information network, information storage, information systems, information transfer, real-time data processing, remote sensing, satellite positioning, software development


Kurttila, Mikko
The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu Office, PL 68, FI-80101 JOENSUU, FINLAND
phone: +358 29 532 2111
e-mail: mikko.kurttila @

Brochure (pdf)

Updated: 07.06.2012 /UHel  |  Photo: Erkki Oksanen, Metla, unless otherwise stated  |  Copyright Metla  |  Feedback