The Federation of Finnish Forest Industries and the Finnish Sawmills Association have published a roadmap for the safeguarding of biodiversity in Finnish forests.
Even today, many things are done in Finnish commercial forests to enhance biodiversity, But implementing them across the entire wood procurement chain should be improved. This is the conclusion in the biodiversity roadmap published by the Federation of Finnish Forest Industries and the Finnish Sawmills Association on 12 September.
‘The extensive research project that led to the roadmap shows that we are already doing the right things about promoting biodiversity in commercial forests. They should be kept up. However, it is important to mainstream these measures, so that they are actually carried out all through the forest management and wood procurement chain,’ say Karoliina Niemi, Forest Director at the Federation of Finnish Forest Industries, and Anniina Kostilainen, Manager of Public Relations at the Finnish Sawmills Association, by e-mail to forest.fi.
The promotion of biodiversity is a responsibility shared by all. The goal is embraced by the top executives and the entire organisation.
‘This requires motivation, skills and commitment, all of which must be strengthened,’ say Niemi and Kostilainen.
The new 20-page programme contains five practical measures and five additional measures to support these. According to Niemi and Kostilainen, the criteria used were research-based impact and practical implementability.
The first five measures are meant to strengthen habitats and structural characteristics crucial for forest biodiversity. Structural characteristics refer to the variety of resources available in forests to species, such as both live trees and deadwood of different kinds and ages.
The crucial factors are increasing deadwood, safeguarding valuable natural sites and increasing the number of broad-leaved trees.
- Increase the variation in shares of different species by increasing the share of broad-leaved species and the number of rarer broad-leaved trees.
- Ensure sufficient deadwood resources for all species. Increase the quantity and diversity of deadwood trunks.
- Safeguard valuable habitats in connection with forestry operations and promote voluntary protection measures.
- Identify herb-rich forests and hot, sunny sites in commercial forests and increase their biodiversity values with nature management.
- Increase habitats dependent on fire by implementing controlled burns and burning as nature management.
‘In particular, we want to make sure that herb-rich forests, sunny sites and habitats dependent on fire will get the attention they need. In addition to our own work, we propose national programmes for both herb-rich forests and hot, sunny sites,’ Niemi and Kostilainen stress.
Examples of measures to support programme implementation:
- Strengthen know-how related to biodiversity of personnel across the forest sector
- Create cooperation and improve discussion environment within the forest sector and vis-à-vis NGOs
- Invest in technology in remote sensing, forestry machine development and measuring of nature data
- Develop knowledge and multidisciplinary research and implement the results in practice
- Strengthen motivation for supporting biodiversity, both as an absolute value and as a guarantee for the profitability of forestry
The conclusions presented in the roadmap are based on an extensive research programme carried out by experts from Natural Resources Institute Finland, the University of Eastern Finland, the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute and the advisory and consulting company Tapio Palvelut Oy.
Niemi and Kostilainen point out that the state of nature can only be monitored reliably by using measurement data.
‘More data is needed both from research and practical monitoring. We want to measure both actions and results. What is needed is both data collected by various operators and national monitoring and inventorying. The data must be freely and easily accessible on a single site, which is why we propose the setting up of a national nature data centre,’ say Niemi and Kostilainen.
English translation: Heli Mäntyranta