Technical Report 11

Forest Management Guidelines and Practices in Finland, Sweden and Norway

Tiia Yrjölä
Internal Report 11
European Forest Institute, 2002
46 p.

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According to the recent UN-ECE/FAO Forest Resources Assessment, forest and other wooded land cover altogether some 216 million hectares in Europe (UN-ECE/FAO 2000). The area that is available for wood supply has been estimated at 149 million hectares. In contrast to tropical regions, the area of forest in Europe is expanding, as a result of abandonment of agricultural lands and incentives provided by recent international commitments to reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases through afforestation and reforestation activities exceeding deforestation. The ownership pattern is also changing, in particular in countries whose economies have been in transition towards a market economy.

Forests in Europe can be classified as semi-natural with regard to their “naturalness”, as only relatively small areas can be classified as either undisturbed by man or as plantations. Therefore, it is fair to say that forests in Europe are mostly managed. However, the management objectives and intensity vary. There is a continuously increasing trend towards managing forests as ecosystems, taking into account both the economic benefits and environmental values. In sustainable forest management, various pressures and demands, both environmental and societal, need to be considered (e.g. climate change, air impurities, land use changes, protection, biodiversity, certification, timber production and water resources). How energy will be produced in the future will become an increasingly important question, and in this respect forestry can also play an important role in providing renewable material for energy production.

This report belongs to a series of reports on forest management guidelines and practices in various European countries. These reports provide valuable information about the country specific characteristics, and such information can be utilised, for example, when trying to assess future development of forest resources under various forest management scenarios. One tool that is extensively developed and used at the European Forest Institute for such analysis is the European Forest Information Scenario Model EFISCEN (Pussinen et al. 2001). These reports have been initiated to provide a sound basis for defining the current, so-called baseline management scenarios in the EFISCEN, as well as for modifying these baseline scenarios for various purposes. Individual country reports, each by their own author, are being grouped and will be published as separate Internal Reports. This is the first such report covering Finland, Sweden and Norway.

I would like to thank the authors of the country reports for their contribution on comprehensive library of forest management guidelines and practices in Europe.

Timo Karjalainen
Programme Manager, Forest Ecology and Management