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The Finnish Forest Centre

The Finnish Forest Centre collects and shares information on Finnish forests. It advises forest owners on the management, use, and protection of forests. In addition, the Finnish Forest Centre monitors compliance with forest laws. 

The Finnish Forest Centre also promotes that forest-related industries are as diverse as possible and that their operations are profitable. The operations of the Finnish Forest Centre are directed and financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland. 

Information on forest resources

Finnish private forest owners can quite freely decide for themselves how to use their forests. Forest use is regulated by the Forest Act.  

The Finnish Forest Centre provides up-to-date information on Finnish forests to support forest owners' decision-making. Forest resource information includes information on, for example, forest habitats and tree stands, habitats of special importance, and forest use. 

Information on forest quality and tree quantity may be partially incomplete, as it is based on remote sensing data collected by laser scanning or older, terrain-collected and updated forest planning data. Therefore, forest owners should always check the information on their forests also in the terrain.  

Forest owners have access to the information on their own forest properties in the free Metsää service.  

    The Finnish Forest Centre’s forest resource database is the largest in the world

    • There are currently 13.5 million hectares of forest resource data on private forests at the forest compartment level, and it covers 95 per cent of the entire area of private forests in Finland.  
    • A new forest inventory cycle began in the spring of 2020 and will increase the amount of forests to be surveyed. 

    Metsää service

    You can get basic information about your own forest by logging in to the free Metsää service. To log in, you need either online banking IDs, a mobile certificate, or a chip ID card. Shareholders of all jointly owned forests can also use the service. 

    The Metsää service is available in Finnish and Swedish.  

    In the Metsää service, forest owners can:

    • get an overview of their forests  
    • see recommended forest management and felling suggestions for their forests  
    • see natural sites situated in their forests  
    • see information about their forests on both maps and aerial photos  
    • receive diverse environmental information at different map levels  
    • report the sites in their forests on which they wish forest management to be outsourced 
    • search for foresters to do forest management work in their forests  
    • share information about their forests with the operators of their choice  
    • deal with the Finnish Forest Centre: make a forest use notification, a Kemera aid application or implementation declaration. 

    In the Metsää service, operators can:

    • find new customers  
    • search for and plan new jobs  
    • have access to a spatial information system and versatile maps  
    • with the permission of the forest owner, file a forest use notification or handle Kemera transactions. 

    Open forest and nature information

    Most of the material collected by the Finnish Forest Centre is openly available in electronic form based on the Forest Data Act.

    Open forest and nature information is available in three forms: 

    • as map services  
    • as file compilations formed from spatial data sets  
    • as interfaces.  

    In connection with open forest and nature information distributed through the metsä website, no personal or contact information of forest owners will be disclosed. If data users combine open forest information with forest owner data, they must ensure that the obligations regarding the protection of personal data are complied with.  

    It is possible to submit to the Finnish Forest Centre such forest information, which can be used to update or supplement the Finnish Forest Centre’s information. 

    Financial support for forest and nature management

    The Finnish Forest Centre finances forest and nature management work of private forest owners. The financing is based on the forms of support provided by law, the most important of which are Kemera aid, which is based on the Sustainable Forestry Financing Act, and afforestation aid.  

    Forest protection is supported by the Finnish Forest Centre through the METSO programme by granting forestry environmental aid and by financing nature management projects.  

    The permanent protection of forests is managed by ELY centres

    The vision and values of the Finnish Forest Centre

    The vision and values of the Finnish Forest Centre 

    The Finnish Forest Centre is an expert organisation that serves and promotes overall sustainable forestry. Overall sustainable forest use combines economic, ecological, social, and climatic goals and improves the long-term benefits of forests.  

    The Finnish Forest Centre also brings together various parties to build good forest management and Finnish well-being.  

    The values of the Finnish Forest Centre  

    • Progressiveness  
    • Doing together  
    • Responsibility  
    • Independence  

    Key figures  

    • Nearly 600,000 forest owners  
    • 590 employees  
    • 50 stakeholders  
    • 4 service areas 

    The services of the Finnish Forest Centre

    The Finnish Forest Centre’s largest service is the Forest Information and Inspection Services. It employs almost half of the Centre’s personnel. The tasks of the Forest Information and Inspection Services are to monitor Finnish forest legislation, administer forestry subsidies as well as collect, maintain, and share forest and nature information. The Forest Information and Inspection Services are headed by Forest Director Anna Rakemaa.  

    The most important tasks of the Business Services are advising and training forest owners and operators, as well as advising forest and wood industry organizations on matters related to forest industries. In addition to this, the Business Services coordinate dozens of externally funded development projects. The Business Services are headed by Business Director Anssi Niskanen. Tapani Hämäläinen, Development Director, and Anna-Liisa Louko, Administrative Director, lead the Finnish Forest Centre’s Internal Development Services and Administrative Services.

    The Finnish Forest Centre organisation

    The Finnish Forest Centre is a process organisation in which the highest decision-making power is exercised by the board of directors. Under the board, there is a steering committee and four different services: Forest Information and Inspection Services, Business Services, Development Services and Administrative Services, and five service areas. 

    The board of directors 

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry appoints the members to the board of directors for four calendar years at a time. Each member has a personal deputy member. The board of directors of the Finnish Forest Centre has been appointed for the term from March 1, 2021 to February 28, 2025. 

    The members of the board of directors are:  

    • Hellström Eeva, Chairman (deputy member Rehn Pekka)  
    • Mäki-Hakola Marko, Vice Chairman, representative of forest owners (deputy member Jylhä Lea)  
    • Jormakka Mika, representative of forest entrepreneurs (deputy member Tolppa Teemu)  
    • Niemi Karoliina, representative of the wood processing industry (deputy member Merivuori Kai)  
    • Niiranen Ari, representative of forestry partners (deputy member Sikanen Satu)  
    • Vesanto Taina, representative of the Ministry (deputy member Buchert Johanna)  
    • Vuorenmaa Jyrki, personnel representative (deputy member Matilainen Jukka) 

    Steering Committee 

    The Finnish Forest Centre has a national steering committee. The committee operates under the direction of Ari Eini, Director of the Finnish Forest Centre. The composition of the steering committee is as follows:  

    • Eini Ari, Director and Chairman of the Steering Committee  
    • Hietamäki Nilla, Communications and Customer Relations Director  
    • Hämäläinen Tapani, Development Director  
    • Kuitunen Pekka, Senior Responsibility Specialist
    • Louko Anna-Liisa, Administrative Director
    • Niskanen Anssi, Business Director  
    • Rakemaa Anna, Forest Director  

    Provincial forest councils

    Fourteen provincial forest councils have been appointed for a four-year term to promote the work of forest-based industries and regional cooperation in the forest sector. The members of the forest councils represent the operators of the forest sector, public administration, non-governmental organisations, and stakeholders.  

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry appoints forest councils based on a proposal from the Finnish Forest Centre.  

    Provincial forest councils are responsible for planning of the regional forest programmes and monitoring of their implementation. 

    History of the Finnish Forest Centre and the Forest Act

    • In 2020, the Finnish Forest Centre has offices in 69 locations. The Finnish Forest Centre employs 575 people (year 2020). Forester Ari Eini has been the director of the Finnish Forest Centre since 2012. 
    • In 2015, the Finnish Forest Centre became a process organisation and thirteen regional units (formerly independent Forest Centres) merged into five service areas.  
    • In 2012, the Finnish Forest Centre Act and the new Forest Information System Act came into force. With these laws, the Finnish Forest Centre was established and transformed into a single national organisation. Forest planning and forest improvement tasks were transferred to a separate business unit, which became Otso Metsäpalvelut. The head office of the Finnish Forest Centre was established in Lahti.  
    • In 1999, FFC and PEFC certifications were launched.  
    • In 1998, the first national forest programme was prepared. It was operating until 2010.  
    • In 1997, the new Forest Act was adopted.  
    • In 1996, forest boards became the forest centres of the province. The activities of thirteen independent forest centres covered the entire country.
    • In 1993, the new forest tax legislation came into force, and income from the sale of wood started to be taxed.  
    • In 1987, the district forest boards and the forest improvement districts of the central forest boards merged into forest boards.  
    • In 1968, the forest management boards became the district forest boards.  
    • In 1964, the Act on the Promotion of Silviculture was approved.  
    • In 1928, the Private Forest Act prohibiting deforestation and the Forest Improvement Act came into force. The county forest management boards were responsible for monitoring and advisory tasks related to private forestry.  
    • In 1922, the first national inventory of Finnish forests was started.  
    • In 1917, the county forest management boards were established to monitor the implementation of the Forest Act.  
    • In 1886, Finland's first Forest Act was enacted, bringing together all the provisions concerning forests. The purpose of the act was to promote the natural regeneration of forests. Since then, forest legislation has been developed in line with the needs of the society.