MELA is software for the analysis and planning of forestry operations, specifically developed for Finnish conditions. The MENU project aims at upgrading MELA into open source code software. The result will be a new MELA software family, which will be more versatile, transparent, scalable, user-friendly and easier to maintain than the current version.

The upgrading process is based on combining four different components. New techniques in forest inventory make it possible to illustrate forest resources in greater detail than before. Production functions developed by the scientific community can demonstrate the possibilities for the production and use of forest resources in a more diverse manner than previously. The constantly improving methods in computational intelligence support the automatisation of calculation routines. Applications in decision theory such as optimisation techniques and taking risk and uncertainty into consideration in calculations improve the usability of the software.

The new and improved software will be particularly useful for the calculation of national and regional felling potentials, projections in the land-use sector as well as scenario and impact assessments for energy and climate policies. The software can also be used in optimising the use of private forest owners’ forest resources.

The project for improving the MELA software benefits from Luke’s previous experience in open source code software development, which has been carried out for the European Commission among others (for example The European Forestry Dynamics Model EFDM, see Packalen et al. 2014).

Hirvelä, H., Härkönen, K., Lempinen, R., Salminen, O. 2017. MELA2016 Reference Manual. Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). 547 p. ISBN: 978-952-326-358-1 (Online). ISSN 2342-7639 (Online). URN: – Published as a pdf: mela2016.pdf.
Packalen, T., Sallnäs, O., Sirkiä, S., Korhonen, K., Salminen, O., Vidal, C., Robert, N., Colin, A., Belouard, T., Schadauer, K., Berger, A., Rego, F., Louro, G., Camia, A., Räty, M., San-Miguel, J. 2014. The European Forestry Dynamics Model (EFDM). Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. 17 s.