Under the Sustainable Forestry Financing Act (Kemera), subsidies can be granted for the following types of work: the early tending of seedling stands, young stand improvement and small tree harvesting related to it, the management of swamp forests, forest vitality fertilization, forest research, environmental support, forest nature management projects and afforestation of wastelands. The subsidies must be applied for before the work starts.
The early tending of seedling stands
The early tending of seedling stands means clearing and thinning of seedling stands and removal and thinning of the nurse crop growing above the seedlings.
The support for early tending of seedling stands is EUR 160 per hectare.
Young stand improvement
Young stand improvement means the management of a grown seedling stand or the restoration of a young forest. In addition, subsidies can be granted for the harvesting of small trees felled in connection with this. Small trees are small-diameter trees that are mainly used for energy production.
Support for young stand improvement is 230 euros per hectare. If small-diameter trees are harvested in connection with the young stand improvement, the subsidy amounts to EUR 430 per hectare.
The management of swamp forests
The management of swamp forests means ditch cleaning in an already drained area, supplementary ditching, water protection work and the making of bank roads related to the drainage area.
The support for the management of swamp forests is 60 per cent of the total costs when the target is a uniform area of at least 5 hectares. Otherwise, the subsidy is 30%. Costs may include planning, labour, and supplies costs.
Forest vitality fertilization
Forest vitality fertilization means wood ash fertilization of swamp forests as well as fertilization on a site with boron deficiency in the soil. Support for forest vitality fertilization is intended to support forest management by private landowners (forest owners). Support is granted only for forest vitality fertilization, not for growth fertilization.
Support for forest vitality fertilization is 30% of the total costs, which may include planning, labour and equipment costs as well as nutrient analysis.
In connection with fertilization, special attention must be paid to the water and environmental impact of the measures and to the reduction of potential damage. Subsidies may not be granted for wood ash fertilization if the site is located in an important groundwater area (Class I) or in a groundwater area suitable for water supply (Class II). Boron fertilization is not permitted in Class I groundwater areas.
To receive financial support for the construction and renovation of forest roads, the roads to be renovated and new forest roads must be suitable for year-round use, with the exception of limits during thaw conditions. The construction and renovation of a forest road is only supported as a joint project of several forest property owners. The road managed by the jointly owned forest alone is classified as a joint project. The share of forestry transportation must be at least half on new roads and at least 30% in road renovations.
Support for the renovation of forest roads is 50 per cent of the total costs in Southern and Central Finland and 60 per cent in Northern Finland. Support for the construction of a new road is 30 per cent of the total costs in Southern Finland, 40 per cent in Central Finland and 50 per cent in Northern Finland.
Environmental support for forestry
Environmental support for forestry can be granted to a private landowner when forest management or forest use measures take into account forest biodiversity more widely than required by the Forest Act.
Environmental support is primarily intended to preserve the characteristics of the habitats of special importance. Environmental support can also be used to safeguard the habitats of the METSO Programme.
A signed memorandum of understanding and financing decision on environmental support is drawn up and together form an agreement. The agreement is valid for 10 years.
Restrictions on the use of the site are stipulated in the agreement and its annexes. In general, no forestry measures may be taken in the area under the agreement. The environmental support agreement is entered in the property information system maintained by the National Land Survey of Finland, where it appears in the property data as a use restriction note.
Environmental support consists of basic compensation and felling value compensation. Support may also be granted for the preparation of an environmental support agreement if it is done otherwise than by the landowner himself. In addition, support may be granted for the preparation of a management and use plan and for nature management work in the area of the agreement based on the management and use plan.
The amount of environmental support is affected by the area and its total stand, the immediate felling possibilities of the forest property and the regional average stumpage price. In the calculation, the minor harm threshold is taken into account. It is 4 percent or up to 3,000 euros of the immediate felling potential of the property. If the amount of compensation in the environmental support agreement is less than EUR 500, no compensation will be paid.
Support for forest nature management projects
Support for forest nature management projects is intended to promote forest nature management. Forest operators can apply for projects twice a year.
Support may be granted for:
- such management and rehabilitation of habitats important for biodiversity, which extend to several forest properties;
- restoration of forest and swamp environments;
- to prevent or remedy damage to water bodies caused by forest drainage, if the measure has a wider than usual impact on the management of water and aquatic nature and the costs cannot be attributed to a specific polluter;
- controlled burning, which promotes forest biodiversity;
- eradication of alien plant species harmful to forest nature and prevention of their spread on forestry lands;
- other projects of regional significance that emphasize the management of forest nature and the multifunctional use of forests, as well as landscape, cultural and recreational values.
Forest sector operators with sufficient professional skills to do the job can participate in the call for proposals for forest nature management projects. The Finnish Forest Centre scores the applications and selects the operator who has submitted the most economically advantageous proposal as the project implementer. The operator selected for the project undertakes to implement the project in accordance with the cost estimate indicated in the project application.
When a project is well planned, support for forest management can fully compensate the reasonable costs of planning and implementing the project.