Peatland forest forum promotes the sustainable use of peatland forests

The peatland forest forum is composed of a ten-member expert team, representing organisations, business life, administration and research. Its purpose is to promote the sustainable management and use of peatland forests and to support the preparation of a new standard for the management of peatland forests. Using the standard, forest owners can make decisions on the management and use of peatland forests so as to address their impact on wood production, climate, water bodies and biodiversity. The standard will be prepared in the sustainable and acceptable forest production on peatlands (SUO) project coordinated by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

The members of the forum:

  • will participate in and comment on the development of the standard, therefore, promoting the sustainable use of peatland forests,
  • will participate in the modernisation of the forestry financing system,
  • will test the feasibility of the standard, and
  • will identify any gaps in peatland forest research and present any needs for research and development.

Forum members:

  • Heli Peltola, professor in silvicultural sciences, University of Eastern Finland (UEF)
  • Liisa Kulmala, senior researcher, Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI)
  • Kaj Granholm, project manager, Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG)
  • xx, WWF
  • Lea Jylhä, forestry specialist, Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK)
  • Timo Makkonen, development manager, Koneyrittäjät ry
  • Juho Rantala, operations manager, Metsä Group
  • Antti Otsamo, sustainable development manager, Metsähallitus
  • Timo Lehesvirta, leading specialist, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
  • Ari Niiranen, director general, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Karelia

The forum will meet at least four times during 2021 and 2022.

The peatland forest forum was summoned by the SUO project, coordinated by Luke, which supports the Government’s climate measures in the land use sector and the National Forest Strategy.

Click to enlarge the pictures

About 25% of Finland's forest resources are in peatland forests. The aim is to manage the timber production of peatland forests in a way that minimises the impact on water bodies, climate and biodiversity. For each stand in the planning area, measures such as felling, fertilisation and ditching are planned in accordance with the forest owners' objectives. The planner will calculate the impacts of different forest management practices on timber production, water, climate and biodiversity. Forest owners make decisions on the use of peatland forests on the basis of these assessments. The approach allows the production of peatland timber to be carried out in a way that takes the environmental impact of the measures into account as fully as possible.

The picture shows the overall sustainable management and use of peatland forests in the catchment. The picture shows continuous forest cover, clear-cuts, decaying trees and old-growth swamp forest, which is also home to capercaillie and used for recreation.