Forests “Tempo shadow boxing,” says forest owner Jaakko Temmes about the forest debate – He thinks he should rely on decades of experience instead

Tempting shadow boxing, describes a forest owner from Helsinki Jaakko Temmes Debate on the update of the EU Forest Strategy. He has been following the news, wondering about future policies, and hopes that a meaningful solution will be found.

The big thing is the timeline, which Tems thinks is completely blurred.

“Tree growing is slow-paced: the time span is over 30 years. That’s why it’s not worth it, you have to rely on decades of experience. ”

Heinolan For Temme, who owns a large forest in the area, forests are an investment and a hobby.

Forests are mainly used for economic purposes. Temmes has traditionally taken care of them by “thinning and finishing”.

The selection also includes landscaping and various experiments, as well as official protected areas and so-called quiet protected areas, which are important to Temme.

“Economic returns are important but not the only value of the forest.”

“I try to keep the forests in good condition. In this way, they can also withstand the problems posed by climate change, ”he says.

“Economic returns are important but not the only value of the forest.”

Forests are a key part of the European Commission’s climate package, which is expected to be published today, Wednesday.

The package includes proposals for legislative changes to meet the EU’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030.

Some of the proposals are closely related to forests that are important to Finland. Among other things, the sink regulation defines how forest carbon sinks are calculated and taken into account in climate targets. A forest strategy with an emphasis on forest protection and sustainable use is also being updated.

The draft strategy, which was drafted in June, has been the subject of much debate. Critics say the line paper places too much emphasis on ecology at the expense of the economy.

Read more: The EU Commission would like to avoid deforestation, says the draft strategy

In the conversation Forest protection, organic management and the avoidance of deforestation have emerged from the EU’s forestry strategy and climate objectives.

According to Temes, Finnish forestry is already relatively close to organic, unlike plantation: “In Finland, native tree species are used and diverse forestry is preferred.”

“It is difficult to take the EU’s forestry strategy seriously if it believes that the twist will continue and new programs will follow.”

Temmes is skeptical about possible coercion and the EU’s rapidly changing programs in general.

“I am opposed to a ban on open felling. However, I am interested in trying something new, and I have tried continuous education in a few places. The results have been mixed. That’s why I’m pretty careful about making big changes, ”he says.

“It is difficult to take the EU forestry strategy seriously if you believe that the twist will continue and new programs will follow. Hopefully this forest strategy will prove to be better. ”

Read more: Forest dispute explained: This is about carbon sinks, the dispute over logging and the EU’s plans to use Finland’s forest use, which will be published this week.

Forest owners differentiate, and more and more forest owners, like Temes, are urban.

The number of forest owners for whom the value of wood is not as important as before is growing.

Alongside economic returns come nature, landscape and recreational values. For others, the most important thing is that the forest remains as they are used to seeing it.

Planting seedling to dry in front of the harvested logging residue in the forest of Jaakko Temme.

Forest owners However, in the opinion of the Finnish Confederation of Agricultural and Forestry Producers (MTK), no new restrictions are needed on Finnish forest management – especially from the EU. They are shunned by forest owners, says the chairman of MTK’s forest delegation Mikko Tiirola.

“Forest owners have been following the EU-related forest debate in confusion. Many have already taken advantage of the good wood market situation, as the supply of wood to the industry has been exceptionally strong. ”

One reason for the increase in wood sales is the price paid for wood, which is 10-15% higher than last year. According to Tiirola, there may be fears of future restrictions: logging is started as if for safety.

“Coercive and non-proprietary restrictions can turn the whole thing on its head.”

Fear are undermines of sovereignty and the protection of property.

In Tiirola’s opinion, European regulation is not needed for Finnish forest management, but it must be national.

“A Finnish forest owner is such that when something is reasonably justified, things move forward. In ten years, a lot has happened and several smart solutions for the natural management of commercial forests have come. For example, Metso properties are offered for protection more than the state can afford to redeem. ”

Forest Diversity Action Plan for Southern Finland Capercaillie is a voluntary program that aims to help halt the decline of forest habitats and species.

According to Tiirola, forest owners want to leave the forest diverse for future generations, but the means must be voluntary.

“Coercive and non-proprietary restrictions can turn the whole thing on its head.”

EU According to Tiirola, the forest strategy is a big issue of principle, where you want to put the whole of Europe in one mold.

“Forest management must be based on national agreements. We do not want anyone in Brussels to dictate what is done in Finland’s forests, ”he says.

“There are fears that, under the guise of climate change, Finnish forests will be turned into museums, with carbon sinks from other EU countries trying to skate on emissions targets.”

Jaakko Temme’s forest in Iiti.

Forests in sustainable use, the principle is total durability. It includes ecological, social and economic sustainability.

In MTK’s opinion, the forest strategy is being renewed only on the basis of ecological criteria and other aspects of sustainability have been left behind.

There are also completely opposite views in Finland. This was shown by the lively discussion in Finland in the spring about the PEFC criteria for general forest certification.

The environmental authorities of the regional living centers and the Finnish Environment Institute, as a research institute, withdrew from the standard because, despite marketing, it does not guarantee ecologically sustainable forestry. Instead, research data on the state of forests has been ignored and ecological sustainability has remained subordinate to wood production.

Read more: Forest certificate receives strong criticism: “Green washing, communication scam,” says Lecturer in Forest Ecology

The standard is significant for the reputation of Finnish forestry: for 20 years, Finnish forestry has been branded sustainable with this certificate.

It is largely a question of who defines the sustainability and responsibility of forest management and by what criteria.

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