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Public administration tasks of the Finnish Forest Centre

Monitoring of forest legislation

The task of the Finnish Forest Centre is to monitor Finnish forest legislation. Among other things, the work is based on the Forest Act, the Act on the Financing of Sustainable Forestry (kemera), and the Forest Damages Prevention Act. The primary purpose of monitoring and inspection activities is to ensure compliance with the regulations. In connection with the activities, information can also be collected on the general quality level of forest management and forest use. The collected data is also used to update information on forests and nature. 

Monitoring of forest legislation is aimed at:

  • planning of fellings and the execution of fellings  
  • forest regeneration  
  • safeguarding forest biodiversity  
  • prevention of forest damages  
  • the implementation of forest management work under the Act on the Financing of Sustainable Forestry.  

Monitoring is based on diverse information sources, such as statutory notifications, forest resource information collected and maintained by the Finnish Forest Centre and various remote sensing materials. Some legislation monitoring tasks are performed through field inspections. 

Management of forestry subsidies

A private forest owner can receive state support for various forest management works and the management of forest roads and forest nature. The aim of the subsidies is to promote and support measures that affect the growth and use of forests in the long term, to encourage private forest owners to use sustainable forest and nature management and to preserve and restore valuable forest nature sites.  

Subsidies under the Sustainable Forestry Financing System (Kemera) are reserved from the state budget in the annually agreed amounts. The Finnish Forest Centre processes applications for subsidies, makes financing decisions and monitors the legitimate execution of works.  

In addition to kemera aid, the Finnish Forest Centre also manages compensations for cervid damage in accordance with the Game Animal Damages Act and makes assessments related to these compensations. From the beginning of 2021, the Act on Temporary Support for Afforestation came into force. The Finnish Forest Centre administers subsidies under this Act for the afforestation of the so-called wastelands. 

Exercise of official authority

In the Finnish Forest Centre, the decision-making power in matters concerning the exercise of official authority is exercised by the director, the forest director and the finance and audit managers. Decisions in the service areas are made by the finance and audit managers, the number and the division of tasks of which are determined by the director of the Finnish Forest Centre. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland confirms the decisions of the director.  

The board of directors of the Finnish Forest Centre participates in the management of matters concerning the exercise of official authority only regarding the use of funds intended for the performance of the tasks.  

An officer performing tasks related to the exercise of official authority may participate in the performance of other tasks of the Finnish Forest Centre, provided that the performance of these tasks does not compromise the independence and impartiality of the performance of the tasks related to the exercise of official authority. The director shall appoint persons who may exercise public authority in addition to the director, the forest director, and the financial and audit managers. The regulation specifies whether the officers have the status of rapporteur or inspector. The list of officers must be visible in Finnish and in Swedish. 

Persons exercising official authority:  

  • Ari Eini, director  
  • Anna Rakemaa, forest director  
  • Aki Hostikka, finance and auditing service manager  
  • Jarkko Partanen, finance and auditing manager
  • Pekka Hovila, project management manager  

Northern service area  

Jussi Pirkonen, finance and auditing manager

Eastern service area  

Mikko Korhonen, finance and auditing manager

Western service area  

Ari Nikkola, finance and auditing manager  

Southern service area  

Sari Alden, finance and auditing manager

Persons exercising official authority as rapporteurs or inspectors  

Financial and auditing experts, forest information managers, specialists in forest information and customer service experts act as rapporteurs in the service areas and exercise official authority. Forest advisers in the service areas exercise official authority as inspectors.  

Legislation governing the use of official authority by the Finnish Forest Centre 

The exercise of official authority in the Finnish Forest Centre as well as the tasks that may include the exercise of official authority are regulated, among other things, by the following legislation:  

  • Act on the Finnish Forest Centre  
  • Forest Act  
  • legislation on forestry financing  
  • Act on the Finnish Forest Centre's Forest Information System  
  • Game Animal Damages Act  
  • Act on Prevention of Insect and Fungi Damage in Forests 
  • Forest Management Association Act  
  • Act on Forest Reproductive Material Trade  
  • Timber Measurement Act  
  • Act on Jointly Owned Forests  
  • Act on Joint Property 
  • Transfer Tax Act 

Additional information: legislation in Finlex online service.

Collection, management, and distribution of information on forests and nature

The statutory task of the Finnish Forest Centre is to perform tasks related to forest information. The Finnish Forest Centre collects information on forest resources for the needs of forest owners, forest industry operators, and other users.

The functioning of the remote sensing data acquisition system is based on laser scanning, aerial photography, and field sample plot measurements. Laser scanning provides accurate three-dimensional information about the structure of tree stands and terrain. In addition, aerial photographs are used, among other things, to identify tree species. The areas that can be inventoried at one time by remote sensing are large, with a forest area of ​​about 200,000 hectares.

With the new inventory round that started in 2020, the entire country's forest resource data is to be surveyed in six years. The work is partly done with our own expert resources, in addition to which subcontracting services are used in laser scanning, aerial photography and tree stands data interpretation, and co-operation is established with, among others, the National Land Survey of Finland.  

The Finnish Forest Centre also collects and maintains nature information related to information on forests. In addition to information on statutory nature sites, nature information also contains other information that describes the ecological state of forest and aquatic environment, the possibilities of safeguarding biodiversity, and the need for and implementation of nature management measures. In addition to the collection of data on forest resources based on remote sensing mentioned above, nature information is also generated in tasks related to law enforcement and the promotion of forestry. Not all information is produced by the Finnish Forest Centre itself. Nature information collected by other actors is linked to the Finnish Forest Centre’s nature information through the distribution channels of information producers.  

The Finnish Forest Centre shares information on forests and nature on the Metsä website and the Metsää service. The Finnish Forest Centre keeps the information up to date in between inventories. The information updates consider, among other things, forest growth and the impact of forest management and fellings on the volume of tree stands, as well as possible changes in property borders and the purpose of the forest use.