We Know the Arctic
Metsähallitus - Arctic All Year Around
Metsähallitus leads the way in diverse bioeconomy. We are a state-owned enterprise, responsible for the management of one third of Finland’s surface area. We use and develop these state-owned land and water areas responsibly, in a way that maximises their benefits to society as a whole.
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Leading the way in diverse bioeconomy
All the operations base on responsible advantage of natural resources ensuring the best potential of the arctic forests. By boosting bioeconomy, Metsähallitus enables different stakeholders’ success to come back to common good.
LEADING BY KNOWLEDGE
Research, education, international cooperation
and participating the stakeholders are key issues for planning the conditions to create effective bioeconomy.
IT ALL BEGINS FROM FOREST
Metsähallitus meets the needs of sustainable care of forests and clean environment by several environmental commitments, forestry certifications and standards.
FULL POTENTIAL FOR THE FUTURE
By good interaction on planning as well as proper infrastructure, the raw materials and innovative end products and services will serve the whole society.
Safeguarding biodiversity, protecting species and habitats
Metsähallitus is responsible for the protection, management and monitoring of valuable habitats and animal and plant species.
Biodiversity is safeguarded through long-term conservation work, collection of information and a broad range of active habitat management and restoration measures. Metsähallitus is responsible for the protection of endangered species in state-owned land and water areas. It is also responsible for the nationwide protection of a number of endangered species.
Restoring game habitats, woodland, marshland and heritage landscapes is part of maintaining biodiversity.
ECOLOGICAL NETWORK HELPS TO ENSURE BIODIVERSITY
The ecologically most important nature sites in multiple-use forests and the nature reserves located on state-owned land and water areas constitute a nationwide ecological network. A wide variety of natural habitats found in Finland are represented in the network and for this reason these sites and reserves are vital to preserving biodiversity in Finland, in terms of species and landscape.
In order to strengthen biodiversity, the information on the ecological network is continuously updated and reviewed. In the planning process, state-owned land is examined as a single entity comprising nature reserves and multiple-use forests.
Metsähallitus is reconciliating stakeholder needs
There are many hopes and demands, urges and needs for land use. Metsähallitus works for inclusive planning between stakeholders.
Metsähallitus manages state-owned land and water areas on the basis of the principle of overlapping use and reconciling a broad range of different needs. The aim is to maximise the sustainable benefits of each area and to reconcile the many different needs of the stakeholders involved.
The purpose of the comprehensive planning and participation methods of Metsähallitus is to ensure that the social responsibility and general social obligations are applied in state-owned land and water areas.
Metsähallitus has a broad range of partners and stake-holders such as Sámi people, reindeer herders, tourism entrepreneurs, environmental NGO´s and local inhabitants.
RECONCILING AIMS WITH EXPECTATIONS
Natural resource planning is our key tool in the reconciliation of the aims and expectations concerning state-owned land. The process always involves a cooperation group in which a wide range of local stakeholders are represented. In Sámi Homeland we are applying the Akwé: Kon guidelines.
HOW TO TAKE PART?
• Regional cooperation groups
• Public hearings
• Dialogue and negotiations
• Web map based participatory planning
• Online feedback
• Catch reports
The planning approach involving extensive participation and based on creative cooperation is also unique when compared with the methods used by other European forestry administrations. Natural resource plans serve as action plans guiding the work of all Metsähallitus business units in state-owned land and water areas during the planning period.
Management plans are prepared for the nature reserves, wilderness areas and hiking areas managed by Metsähallitus and for the Natura 2000 sites. The purpose of the plans is to reconcile the aims pertaining to nature conservation, recreational use and other use.
The consultative committees appointed for national parks serve as permanent channels for cooperation and participation. Each municipality in Northern Lapland has its own consultative committee. The management plans prepared for the nature reserves and wilderness areas in the Sámi Homeland are based on the Akwé: Kon guidelines laid out in the Convention on Biological Diversity. The purpose of the guidelines is to ensure the participation of the Sámi communities in the planning and impact assessment process and to find ways to reduce any negative impacts on Sámi sources of livelihood.
Sustainable return over generations
Metsähallitus brings income to the state, enhances the vitality of rural areas, provides possibilities for clean energy production and promotes services based on wellness from nature. We are providing employment for thousands of people.
MATERIALS FOR BIO-BASED PRODUCTS
Some six million m3 of timber are produced sustainably in the stateowned multiple-use forests every year. This renewable natural resource is used as a raw material for different bioeconomy products.
THERE´S MUCH MORE IN FORESTS THAN TREES
The arctic forests are also a source of energy, clean food, nature products and a place for reindeer herding.
VITALITY FOR THE REGIONS
Metsähallitus is a big employer in northern and eastern Finland. We also buy services from private entrepreneurs and visitors bring income to the regions.
Metsähallitus is a manager of large areas of land and a major provider of employment in northern and eastern Finland and its activities have significant impacts on the economies of these regions. In accordance with its general social obligations, Metsähallitus gives high priority to providing employment opportunities.
By purchasing services from private operators, Metsähallitus supports entrepreneurship, especially in small municipalities. Metsähallitus purchases all timber harvesting work and timber transport as well as a large proportion of the forest management and forest improvement work from private entrepreneurs.
Metsähallitus sells about 6 million cubic metres of timber annually. This is about 6 percent of the timber volume required by the Finnish forest industry. The biggest customers are big Finnish forest industry companies that produce pulp, paper and sawn goods.
We are also responsible for zoning matters, the procurement, sale and leasing of real estate properties, and project and development activities involving land and water areas. We also set aside and develop state-owned areas for wind power production needs and oversees extraction activities on state-owned land.
Arctic nature is Finland’s largest physical exercise facility
We want to inspire people to become more outdoor-oriented and seek wellbeing from nature. The aim is to make people physically active and encourage them to maintain their relationship with nature.
We maintain the infrastructure to easy-accessible nature experiences, including 36 000 km of forest roads, 6 000 km of marked trails and 3 000 rest places.
Freedom of walking, camping and picking nature’s goods – and there is no charge. That’s every man’s right!
By responsible planning and partnership with tourism entrepreneurs,
we create opportunities for sustainable tourism and recreation. We also respect cultural heritage and Arctic as home of Sámi culture
People staying in national parks feel that the visits have significant health and wellbeing impacts. According to questionnaire surveys, more than 87 per cent of all visitors to nature reserves and historical sites feel that spending time at the sites has fairly or very significant health and wellbeing impacts. The aim of the programme is to encourage Finns to become healthier and feel better physically, psychologically and socially by taking a look at the wonders of Finnish nature.
Arctic area is digitally connected
Metsähallitus sees digitality as an answer for the challenges of arctic conditions and distances. Wide mobile networks and GPS cover the entire Finnish Arctic.
GIS DATA IS THE BASIS
Foundation for all digital planning is the GIS data, of which forest sector is the biggest developer and collector. The data is gathered on the field, by laser scanning and on foot.
GIS DATA FOR PLANNING
Huge amount of data is used for planning and actions in the field in forestry operations, conservation and natural resources management.
DATA FOR DIGITAL SERVICES
The data collected enables public digital services – for example for hikers, hunters, fishers and collectors of nature products.
Data on different areas is collected from field surveys and from various external information sources. In order to secure the most up-to-date information possible about tree reserves, information about tree stands is updated annually according to the Lignum growth model developed by the Finnish Forest Research Institute. Other information is also updated and adjusted continuously.
The geographical information system is an essential tool in natural resource planning as well as in operational planning in forestry and nature conservation. The system is also a key tool for many Metsähallitus employees: approximately 500 workers use it every day. The person who actually carries out the operational planning, for example a forestry worker, works on the basis of a map of the stand and information about sites where special methods have to be used.
The decisions made in natural resource planning are implemented at stand level by means of detailed operational planning. Operational planning in Forestry includes silviculture and felling plans, while in conservation areas, planning mostly includes nature management, forest and mire restoration and route plans.