Finland - Forestry

Forestry in Finland has been controlled since the 17th century. Since 1928, the government has emphasized a policy of sustainable yields, with production reflecting timber growth. The forest area covered 21.9 million hectares (54.2 million acres), or about 72% of the total land area, in 2000. The total growing stock is around 2.0 billion cu m (71 billion cu ft), and the annual increment is estimated at 78 million cu m (2.75 billion cu ft). The most important varieties are pine (45% of the total growing stock), spruce (37%), birch, aspen, and alder. About 70% of the productive woodland is privately owned (in 430,000 holdings); 20% is owned by the state; the remainder is owned by companies, communes, and religious bodies. There are 10 major sawmills in Finland with a combined capacity of 8,000 cu m (282,000 cu ft) per year. Numerous small sawmills serve local markets.

In 2000, the roundwood harvest was estimated at 54.3 million cu m (1.9 billion cu ft), of which 13.4 million cu m (473 million cu ft) were processed as sawnwood, 12.5 million cu m (441 million cu ft) as wood pulp, and 4.1 million cu m (145 million cu ft) as firewood. Over 70% of annual Finnish forestry output is exported, including 90% of all printing paper and 35% of all particleboard produced. Over 80% of forestry product exports are sent elsewhere in Europe; Finland supplies Europe with about 10% of its demand. In 2001, exports of forestry products were valued at nearly $10.9 billion.

In 1999, Finland launched its National Forest Program 2010. The goal of the program is to raise industrial roundwood production to 63–68 million cu m (2.2–2.4 billion cu ft) while adhering to ecosystem management principles.

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