The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation, which promotes the protection of Finnish nature, is concerned about the slow progress of forest protection in Finland. The situation is illustrated well by the fact that the Foundation is not even able to acquire and protect all the areas of old forest that are for sale publicly. The main challenge is the lack of funding.
“The situation in the world is currently very uncertain, which unfortunately also manifests itself in an increased pace of felling. Our Foundation aims to protect a thousand hectares of Finnish forest and bog nature this year. We are progressing at a good pace, and we need donations to reach our target. If donations were to dwindle, it would be a disaster for the nature, as it would slow down our ability to protect old forests,” Pepe Forsberg, Managing Director of the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation, says.
“As a whole, forest protection in Finland is progressing regrettably slowly; we are not even able to protect all the areas of old forest where the owners would be prepared so sell or protect,” Forsberg continues.
“Still today, some old forests that are for sale end up being felled. It is an untenable situation. The high price of timber also means that forest prices remain high.”
In Finland, forests contain more endangered species than any other habitat, but in most of the southern parts of the country, only a few percent of the forests have been protected. More than a hundred thousand hectares of forest is clear-felled every year. Significantly improving the protection level would primarily require increased protection funding from the government, but private individuals as well as municipalities and businesses all have an important role to play in this work.
The aim of the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation is to promote Finnish nature conservation and retaining natural areas. Through purchases and donations, the Foundation acquires suitable areas, primarily forests, and applies for permanent funding for them which is fixed by law.