Finnish Forest Research Institute  Metla

The first village-level forestry programme has been completed in Finland

The local forestry programme for the villages of Koli and Hattusaari was released in a seminar organized in Koli on the 12th of December 2007. This is the first forestry programme prepared at such a local level in Finland and it is the result of a three-year (2005-2007) international project called "Enhancing Local Activity and Values from forest land through community-led strategic planning", ELAV.

The aim of the project was to support the development of local livelihoods based on forest resources and to enhance the vitality of this rural area through strategic forest planning at the village level.

The preparation of the forestry programme was carried out at the village level by a local working group, composed of private forest owners, other entrepreneurs and village members. Additional support for the work of the group came from public events and international exchange visits.

The programme presents the objectives of the two-village community for the development of forest resource use for the next ten years and examines strategies for sustainable use and opportunities for development of the whole area’s forest resources. In addition, it includes a description of the current status of the forests and identifies sources of financing for community initiatives.

The local forestry programme establishes matters that are highlighted or actively pursued by the community. The programme can 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. This information can be used also in the preparation of 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.

The partners in the project were The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), the Regional Forestry Centre of North Karelia and the Forest Management Association of North Karelia.

The project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the EU through the Interreg IIIB Northern Periphery Programme, which has participant forest organizations from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Scotland. Also the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry provided funding for the Finnish project.

Publication: Nuutinen, T., Kärkkäinen, L., Niinistö, S., Hassinen K. & Lukkarinen, E. (eds.) 2007. Kolin ja Hattusaaren paikallinen metsäohjelma. Metsäntutkimuslaitos. Joensuu. 49 p.

Distribution of the publication: Leena Kettunen, Metla/Joensuu, p. 010 211 3139, leena.kettunen @

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