Compliance and Governance
Metsähallitus is a state enterprise whose annual targets are approved by Parliament as part of the central government budget. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is responsible for Metsähallitus’ performance guidance. The performance of Metsähallitus’ public administration tasks is also guided by the Ministry of the Environment within its remit.
Metsähallitus is a state enterprise referred to in section 84(4) of the Finnish Constitution. Legislative provisions applicable to its activities are contained in the Act on Metsähallitus and the Act on Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd. The general State Enterprises Act of 2010 is not applied to Metsähallitus.
Metsähallitus operates under the steering and in the administrative sector of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The Ministry of the Environment steers Metsähallitus for the part of the public administration duties within this ministry’s remit.
Metsähallitus’ key service targets and other operative goals in broad terms are adopted by Parliament in connection with the state budget. The Government issues general regulations on Metsähallitus’ operation and finances when necessary. Once the state budget had been adopted by Parliament, the relevant ministry decides on Metsähallitus’ specific service targets, other operative goals and profit and revenue targets.
The board of directors
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Metsähallitus has a Board of Directors and a Director General as well as a separate unit which handles public administration duties. Metsähallitus’ rules of procedure contain regulations on the other units and functions that are part of its organisation. Commercial activities are handled by the subsidiaries owned by Metsähallitus. Metsähallitus and its subsidiaries comprise the Metsähallitus Group. Metsähallitus operates as a single functional entity.
Tasks of Metsähallitus
The general task of Metsähallitus is to use, care for and protect state-owned land and water areas under its management in a sustainable manner. Metsähallitus is expected to operate profitably.
In its business activities, Metsähallitus operates within the framework of its statutory social obligations specified in the state budget and performs the public administration duties assigned to it in legislation. Metsähallitus is run on a commercial basis and in line with the service targets and other operative goals adopted by Parliament.
Metsähallitus is the steward of the land and water areas under the direct ownership of the state. The state’s land and water areas Metsähallitus cares for are managed as a whole. Metsähallitus has an extensive right of action as the steward of these areas. In keeping with the principles of good governance, as the manager of state-owned land and water areas Metsähallitus expresses its views as a single entity in various procedures related to land use. Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd has a permanent right to use the state’s commercial forests.
Statutory social responsibilities define Metsähallitus’ business operations
Metsähallitus’ line of business is the commercial exploitation of state-owned land and water property entrusted to its stewardship and the governance of its subsidiaries and associated companies, which conduct business related to managing this property.
In addition to lucrative business operations, society’s overall interests are served by ensuring that the societal needs associated with the areas managed by Metsähallitus are addressed appropriately.
As a key element in the sustainable management and use of natural resources, Metsähallitus must pay adequate attention to protecting biodiversity and increasing it by suitable means. The requirements related to recreational use of nature and promoting employment must also be taken into consideration. While Metsähallitus coordinates the management, use and protection of the natural resources under its stewardship, preconditions must also be provided for fostering Sámi cultural heritage in the Sámi Homeland and safeguarding the possibilities for reindeer herding as referred to in the Reindeer Husbandry Act in the relevant areas.
The fulfilment of the general social responsibilities is taken into account in Metsähallitus’ profit targets. In practical terms, these responsibilities are accounted for in such contexts as the planning of Metsähallitus’ activities, which takes place as participatory natural resources planning based on extensive consultations with citizens and stakeholders. The plans for using natural resources are approved by Metsähallitus.
Metsähallitus conducts its business within the framework of its statutory social responsibilities.
Public administration duties
The public administration duties performed by Metsähallitus are handled by units separated from business activities (Parks and Wildlife Finland and Wildlife Service Finland).
Key public administration duties include managing and directing the use of the state’s nature reserves and wilderness and hiking areas, including tasks related to protecting inland waterways and marine areas; caring for the cultural environment and building heritage; and providing wilderness services, which cover hunting, fishing and off-road traffic matters as well as game and fisheries supervision.
Provisions on Metsähallitus’ public administration duties are laid down in the Act on Metsähallitus and separate acts. The costs incurred from managing public administration duties are covered by an appropriation in the state budget and the revenue accumulated from performing administration tasks.