Technical Report 12

External review of the Finnish forest condition monitoring programme for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Finland

David Burdekin, Peter Csóka, Juha Kämäri, Pekka Kauppi, Guy Landmann, Saija Miina, Risto Päivinen, Andreas Schuck and Hubert Sterba
Internal Report 12
European Forest Institute, Joensuu, Finland, 2002
41 p.

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Since the initiation of the ICP Forests programme, an information need on the forest condition has evolved. Many international conventions related to forests have been agreed upon and they are being implemented. The sulphur and nitrogen emissions in Europe have decreased. The inventory methodologies and monitoring have also generally improved, particularly information transfer has taken major steps forward.

It is now under consideration how to find ways to address important new environmental topics, such as forest biodiversity, climate change and sustainable forest management. In July 2002 the Commission of the European Communities tabled a proposal for a regulation concerning monitoring of forests and environmental interactions in the Community, and outlined a framework of the EU scheme for the next period.

In early 2002, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Finland felt that an external and independent evaluation of the Finnish forest condition monitoring programme was required, since such an exercise had not been conducted before. Such an evaluation could also provide further input for future discussions during the preparation of the new regulation, serving as an example case at a national level.

Some evaluations on the monitoring scheme at European and the EU level have been carried out earlier. The external evaluation of the ICP programmes, carried out by Dr. T.G. Brydges in 1998, marked the start of the evaluation process of the monitoring activities. After the external evaluation, ICP Forests organised an internal review of the programme. The results of the internal review were presented to the 16th Task Force Meeting of the ICP Forests in May 2000.

The European Union started a reformation of the Council Regulations of the EU Scheme at the same time as the evaluations of the ICP Forests programme. The first step was the review of the pan-European monitoring programme on forest ecosystems, carried out by Dr. J.W. Erisman in 2000. A workshop was organised by the European Union in Brussels in May 2000 to discuss the future needs of the forest monitoring.

The review of the Finnish forest condition monitoring work was contracted to the European Forest Institute, which carried it out in March - August 2002.

We hope that this document can provide valuable information not only for the development of the ICP Forests Programme, but also for the whole professional community involved in forest monitoring and the use of their results.

Joensuu, 20 September 2002

Risto Päivinen
European Forest Institute