“Metsän puolella” initiative


Open letter to the Finnish government to promote the protection of primary and old-growth forests in line with national criteria

Kulla nature reserve in Kemiönsaari. Photo: Jussi Vierimaa

Kone Foundation organized a workshop for researchers with deep knowledge of Finnish forest biodiversity, forest ecology, and forest structural characteristics on September 5, 2023. The researchers were presented with the results of the “Luonnonmetsä” working group’s mapping of primary and old-growth forests on state-owned lands, which have been funded by Kone Foundation. The workshop was part of the Foundation’s new initiative, “Metsän puolella”, which aims to diversify the discussion on forests and their sustainable use.

The workshop also featured mapping data from a volunteer inventory group in indigenous Sámi Homeland areas in Northern Finland (Sápmi) and other publicly available mapping data from state-owned lands produced by Metsähallitus (state-owned forestry company) across the country.

After familiarizing themselves with the datasets, the participants engaged in critical discussions regarding how the inventory packages and other shared information relate to the protection of primary and old-growth forests in Finland.

A group of scientists participating in the workshop separately signed an open letter to the Finnish government to promote the protection of primary and old-growth forests.

The letter has been sent to key ministers of the Finnish government today, 5 October, 2023.

You can read the letter here.

More information

  • Kone Foundation’s “Metsän puolella” initiative, Mari Pantsar, Tel. +358 50 382 0755
  • Mapping of forests in southern Finland by “Luonnonmetsä” working group, as well as Metsähallitus’ own mappings, Risto Sulkava, Tel. +358 40 545 6472
  • Mapping of forests in the Sápmi area, Jan Saijets, Representative of the Sámi Parliament in the Forest Council, Tel. +358 40 7609 360
  • Scientific responsibility for the workshop, Panu Halme, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Tel. +358 40 805 4945