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Information about jointly owned forests

Jointly owned forests have been established in Finland since the end of the 19th century, and in February 2020, the 500th jointly owned forest was established. At the beginning of 2021, there were 529 such forests in Finland. The establishment of new jointly owned forests has increased significantly as a result of the comprehensive reform of the Act on Jointly Owned Forests in 2003. The total area of the jointly owned forests is growing all the time and is already almost 800,000 hectares. 

Our country's jointly owned forests have about 25,000 shareholders and cover more than five percent of the area of our private forests. The smallest jointly owned forest is less than 20 hectares, while the largest, Kuusamo, has an area of more than 90,000 hectares. The largest jointly owned forests are in Kuusamo, Salla and Kemijärvi. A jointly owned forest can provide a functional solution to many of the goals of modern forest ownership. However, the Finnish Forest Centre does not recommend to establish jointly owned forests of less than 100 hectares, because due to certain administrative costs, the operation of a jointly owned forest that is too small cannot be made profitable enough compared to conventional private forest ownership. 

A jointly owned forest is an area belonging to a real estate, and it is intended to be used for sustainable forestry for the benefit of its shareholders. Jointly owned forests are private land and have no obligations.  

According to the Act on Jointly Owned Forests, jointly owned forests must be used primarily for sustainable forestry. Sustainable forestry includes economic, social, and ecological sustainability. The shareholders of the jointly owned forest decide how they emphasize the different aspects of sustainable forestry in the use of the forest. 

The highest decision-making body of the jointly owned forest is the meeting of a shareholders’ association consisting of the owners of the forest properties. The association is a separate legal entity. The shareholders of a jointly owned forest can be individuals, estates, associations, and communities. The shareholder's voting power and rights depend on the size of the share. Decisions are made by majority.  

Basic information on Finland's jointly owned forests can be found in the material bank in Finnish.  

Persons authorized by the jointly owned forest can also use the Metsään.fi service.  

The Jointly Owned Forest Portal also contains key links on joint forest ownership in Finnish. The links will take you to the websites of the National Land Survey of Finland, the Finnish Jointly Owned Forest Association, and the Tax Administration. 

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