Metsään.fi − eServices for forest owners
Metsään.fi is a portal through which people who own forest property in Finland can conduct business related to their forests from the comfort of their own homes. The portal connects owners with related third parties, including providers of forestry services. This makes it easy to commission management work and to be in touch with forestry professionals.
Online commissioning of forestry work
Forestry businesses, forest management associations and timber buyers can be found in the portal. Forest owners can check which service providers are available in the area surrounding the forest property, and, if necessary, authorise chosen partners to view their data or transfer them to their own systems. This makes it easy to get in touch with professionals regarding forestry and logging work. Service providers may also contact forest owners on their own initiative.
The portal saves service providers the cost and effort of visiting sites to obtain the latest data on which to base plans. It also contains up-to-date contact details for forest owners. The aerial photographs and maps are important tools for professionals, and for small businesses Metsään.fi may replace the need to have their own geographic information system or CRM system entirely. Most private Finnish forest owners are either in employment or retired, and a growing proportion live far from the forests they own. For most owners the forests are not a major source of income, and only a small fraction have professional forestry skills.
Metsään.fi - Your own forest online
Metsään.fi is a portal which offers the latest information to forest owners on their properties. As soon as they log in, users can see what should be done in their forests right now. Information is displayed for each forest stand compartment, broken down by soil type, tree type and natural occurrence, and possible logging or forestry actions are suggested, including income and cost estimates. Maps and aerial photographs clearly show where properties are located and what they look like. Users log in securely using their online banking codes. The service is offered in Finnish and Swedish.
One in seven Finns are forest owners
Sixty per cent of Finnish forests are owned by private individuals and families. The government holds around twenty-five per cent, but its lands include many protected areas, as well as northern expanses where trees are sparse and growth is slow. Therefore the actions and decisions of private owners have a crucial impact on how Finland's forests are managed and put to use overall.
The average size of a private forest property in Finland is 30 hectares (around 74 acres or 36 football pitches), with an average value of EUR 120,000 (three times the average Finnish annual salary). Privately owned forest properties number around 375,000. Because many people have joint ownership of properties together with close relatives, there are nearly 740,000 forest owners.
Based on extensive forest resource databases
The portal draws information from a national forest resource database, which is continuously updated with data obtained by laser scanning, aerial photography, sample plot measurements and site visits. This sort of data collection is a statutory task of the Finnish Forest Centre. Between surveys, information is maintained based on notifications received by the Forest Centre from forest owners and forestry organisations. Now, reports on completed work can also be submitted via Metsään.fi. Tree growth is factored into the data in the portal, and suggested actions are updated annually.
Development of the portal is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Metsään.fi supports the fulfilment of many strategies and EU directives, including the EU Forest Strategy, the PSI and INSPIRE directives, the development of rural livelihoods and the promotion of biodiversity.
Metsään.fi is provided by the Finnish Forest Centre, which is a state-funded organisation for promoting sustainable forestry and forest-based livelihoods. The portal's membership fee for forest
owners is EUR 60 per year (2013). Businesses can define in which areas they want to operate, and pay EUR 60 per municipality.