Metla uutiskirje

Metla Bulletin

June 30, 2014
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Know-how in intensive forestry is frequently moving between Finland and Russia

In April, an interim seminar for the project on Novel cross-border solutions for intensification of forestry and increasing energy wood use (CBS FOREN) was held in Joensuu, reviewing the results from the project’s first year. In addition to the forestry sector’s ”Finland-Russia courses”, literary production and exchange of research information, the promise by the Petrozavodsk State University to increase the share of courses related to practical forestry in its own forestry study modules was the star of the show. This is good news for forestry students in Finland and Russia.

The field courses arranged and test plots established during the first year lay the groundwork for publishing

Russian study group visits the model road built by North Karelia Technical College Valtimo in May 2013.
Photo: Metla/Pasi Poikonen

During 2013, the first year of the research project, three study weeks were arranged in the environs of Joensuu. In May, the studies concentrated on forest road construction at the Valtimo location of the North-Karelia College, in June, on the activities of the local province-level co-operation network of the bioenergy industry under the supervision of the Karelia University of Applied Sciences, and, in September, on forestry planning and the management of young forests under the tutelage of the Finnish Forest Centre.

Over the winter, study slide sets in Russian were produced of all three themes. This allows anyone interested in these subjects to study them in depth on the website maintained by Metla (www.lesinfo.fi). 

The outcomes of the project are utilised in the forestry education of the Petrozavodsk State University – a more varied offering of forestry studies in Russia is also an opportunity for students in Finland

The Petrozavodsk State University utilises its project experiences in the new courses and in the structure of the Bachelor’s degree that will begin next autumn. In the Bachelor’s degree, the share of courses related to practical forestry is increasing. For this purpose, test plots have been established during the project in the immediate vicinity of the new university campus, in a 70-hectare forest assigned to the university for research and education purposes. During May 2014, the test area of thinning plots was complemented with a 650-metre long forest road. The distance from the city of Petrozavodsk to the area is three kilometres.

Considering the continuity of the project, the development of the study modules of the Faculty of Forest Engineering at the Petrozavodsk State University is particularly laudable. If as many as one third of the students in Finnish universities today are foreigners, and a significant number of these are from Russia, a good opportunity will correspondingly open up for Finnish students of basic forestry studies to complete some forestry study modules in Petrozavodsk. This is an excellent possibility of assessing the quality of the education on both sides of the border, particularly with the inclusion of chapters analysing the applicability of Finnish forestry methods in Russian conditions in the textbooks written by the Russians.    

Project Facts in a Nutshell

Name: Novel cross-border solutions for intensification of forestry and increasing energy wood use
Duration: 27 months (1 October 2012–31 December 2014)
Parties: Metla, Petrozavodsk State University, Finnish Forest Centre, Karelia University of Applied Sciences and North-Karelia College, Valtimo.
Funding: EUR 900,000; share of self-financing 10% (expert contribution). The project is also funded by the governments of Finland and Russia, and the EU ENPI Programme. Projects implemented in the North-Karelia region are supervised and steered by the Council of Oulu Region. 
Coordinated by: Metla, Project Coordinator, Researcher Pasi Poikonen

An event arranged in Joensuu in the spring of 2014 was attended by 13 experts from the Petrozavodsk State University, whose presentations were followed by 17 representatives of science, education and business from the North Karelian forestry network. During the evening session, the network was reinforced with a team of bioenergy experts from the Leningrad and Arkhangelsk oblasts who were surveying the possibilities of future project co-operation. Viktor Lukashevitch takes the podium during the seminar. Photo: Metla/Pasi Poikonen

Seminars and publications an important part of information exchange

The young Russian generation of researchers and professors actively conveys information on their experiences in Russia, its neighbouring countries and even farther. In this regard, the Republic of Karelia acts as a window to Russia in transferring forestry information to Russia. In Russia, seminars have been or will be arranged in Yekaterinburg, Voronezh, Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and in Germany, Belarus and China. The co-operation with Finland has been well advertised in Russia. This is evident in the interest shown by students towards the projects, and the expansion of the Finnish-Russian network from Karelia towards new regions and opportunities.

Publications are the most permanent and concrete outcomes of the project. The Petrozavodsk State University is responsible for the extensive textbooks and Metla, together with its project partners, is responsible for creating guidebooks. Whereas Russian researchers and teachers write their own publications comprehensively on the planning of intensive forestry, forest road construction and wood-based bioenergy production, the Finnish parties concentrate on more narrowly focused special themes within each topic. These include describing software applications supporting decision-making in the field of forestry, such as the Motti forest growing software and the utilisation of geographical information systems (GIS) in roundwood logistics. In the field of bioenergy, the focus is on business models and the description of the technical and economic requirements of heating plant investments. An abridged version will be written of a book on mechanical silvicultural treatment of young forest stands published in Finnish by the Karelia University of Applied Sciences in 2013. A guidebook will be prepared on forest road construction from the perspective of machine operators, its ample illustrations complemented with concise yet informative texts.  

Plenty of action remaining for the current year

In May 2014, training will be arranged in connection with the construction of a forest road in Petrozavodsk. In the bioenergy theme, the studies are given greater depth by familiarising the participants on site with the fundamentals of the renovation of the Tshalna Forest Technical College’s heating system, although the investment itself will not be realised during the project.

In September, a study week concentrating on forest regeneration and seed production will be arranged in the Southern Savonia and Northern Karelia regions. In October, a study package related to forest roads will be finalised in Valtimo; its themes to be specified in more detail in May based on the experience obtained from the construction of the model forest road. On the whole, feedback on the courses has been positive, with people encouraging us to arrange them. Participation in the courses is possible from companies and other stakeholder organisations. The potential participants have comprised the personnel of the Russian wood procurement subsidiaries of Finnish companies. In this manner, the benefits of science, education and business are combined in the best possible way.

Further information
  • Researcher, Project Coordinator Pasi Poikonen, tel. +358 29 532 5188, pasi.poikonen(a)metla.fi
 
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Header image: Metla/Essi Puranen, Photos: Metla/Erkki Oksanen, unless otherwise stated