Equality and nondiscrimination plan
The new Metsähallitus equality and nondiscrimination plan is more comprehensive than the statutory plan, and will assist the organisation in promoting equality and eliminating discrimination. Metsähallitus employs a staff of around 1,200 experts from a variety of fields. It also has an extensive number of customers, stakeholders and partners. The changes now being introduced will improve the working lives of thousands of people and the free time of even more.
The equality and nondiscrimination plan implements Metsähallitus’s responsibility programme and provides further clarification for the Code of Conduct in the relevant areas. The plan helps to ensure the implementation, within the operations of Metsähallitus, of responsibility policies outlined in international responsibility instructions and guidelines, such as the UN’s Agenda 2030, as well as the UN principles relating to companies and human rights.
The plan was drafted by a working group made up of employees selected for the task. It will be in effect from 2019 to 2022, and the responsibilities have been assigned for its implementation and monitoring.
The Metsähallitus equality and nondiscrimination plan is divided into three sections: promotion of nondiscrimination in Metsähallitus’s employer activities, promotion of nondiscrimination in its services, and measures to ensure nondiscrimination of Sámi people. The plan will be used to assess the current situation regarding how equality and non-discrimination are realised at Metsähallitus among its staff and in its operations in general. The plan specifies how Metsähallitus will from this point forward identify, intervene in and prevent discrimination and promote equal treatment and gender equality.
Employment in different parts of Finland
As a major landowner and employer, Metsähallitus plays a responsible role in northern and eastern Finland, since its operations have a major impact on the regional economy.
Metsähallitus employs over 1,500 professionals, around one fifth on a fixed-term basis. The majority of employees, around 1,350, are based in various Metsähallitus offices around the country. Over 50 per cent of its wages are paid in northern Finland.
Metsähallitus outsources all mechanical work in forestry to independent entrepreneurs and a large portion of forester work to forest service providers. Various customer services and maintenance and ecological management services in protected areas are outsourced to around 700 companies and organisations.
In cooperation with the Criminal Sanctions Agency, Metsähallitus employs open prison inmates in the management of protected areas. In 2015, the input of convicts in various maintenance and restoration duties in protected areas was equivalent to 55 person-years.
Metsähallitus cooperates with a variety of stakeholders: agreements on the use of state-owned land alone number over 17,000.
Exercise in a natural environment enhances wellbeing
State-owned forest and water areas provide the general public and tourists with excellent opportunities for hiking and recreation. Free-of-charge services include open wilderness huts, fireplaces, hiking trails and customer services at Nature Centres, while fishing, hunting and snowmobiling are mainly subject to a charge. Metsähallitus' efforts to promote public health have been commended.
People are keen to engage in concrete activities to benefit the natural environment. In cooperation with a range of associations and organisations, Metsähallitus offers a wide variety of opportunities for voluntary activities in managing protected areas, threatened species and game and fish populations. The number of volunteers is steadily increasing.
Support for young people's education and employment
Metsähallitus employs hundreds of young people every year and cooperates with educational institutions. We provide traineeships and learning-at-work for students, as well as contracting sites for harvester operator students.
Metsähallitus Nature Centres and Science Centres provide guided tours and workshops in support of the primary and secondary school curricula. Together with operators in the forest industry, we arrange Forest Weeks and Days around the country for schools and kindergartens.