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FSD3161 Forest Owners' Views on Forest Biodiversity Programme METSO and Forest Use 2014

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Authors

  • Hujala, Teppo (Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke))
  • Kurttila, Mikko (Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke))
  • Paloniemi, Riikka (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE))
  • Primmer, Eeva (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE))
  • Pynnönen, Sari (Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK))
  • Ratamäki, Outi (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE))

Keywords

biodiversity, conservation, forest management, forest protection, forest resources, forestry, forests, land economics, land resources

Abstract

This study surveyed Finnish forest owners' views on the METSO biodiversity programme, principles of forest management, securing biodiversity of forests, and forest use. The survey is part of the METSO collaborative research project funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (2013-2016).

The first questions covered the type of measures that had already been taken to preserve the respondents' forest sites (e.g. WWF Heritage Forest agreements or other conservation agreements). It was also queried whether the forest owners had signed a METSO agreement and which measures they would take on the sites after the contract ended, e.g. signing new conservation agreements or carrying out logging operations. Further questions surveyed whether the respondents felt that a conservation agreement restricted the utilisation of the site's resources. The study was also interested in whether the respondents' forests contained sites that are protected by law, e.g. mating and resting sites of Siberian flying squirrels. The factors that the respondents deemed important in securing biodiversity of forests were examined as well (e.g. securing recreation possibilities in accordance with everyman's right, preserving the natural condition of the site, or economic gain from conservation agreements).

Next, the respondents were presented with attitudinal statements regarding the METSO programme and, for instance, the compensation received from METSO conservation sites. The survey also studied the role of knowledge and interaction in securing biodiversity. The forest owners were asked to evaluate if a variety of conservation-related services were needed, e.g. a map showing valuable nature sites in their forests or estimates of the economic effects of a protected forest site versus a commercial forest site. They were also asked to evaluate different actors' roles and reliability in the conservation agreement process (e.g. the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, and the Finnish Forest Centre). The influence of different people's opinions (e.g. family, neighbours, and professionals at forest management associations (MHY)) on conservation measures were also examined.

The respondents were asked with which organisation they preferred to transact in issues relating to the METSO programme, forest management, and timber sales, and if they had put together a forest management plan. Finally, the respondents' objectives relating to forest use were surveyed. They were asked what types of forest management measures they would undertake in the following five years, e.g. clear felling, uneven-aged forest management, or preserving areas in accordance with FSC or PEFC certifications. Further questions about the respondents' experiences of forest management plans were also asked.

Background variables included, for instance, gender, age, type of municipality of residence, education level, household gross income and income received from forests, and type and duration of forest ownership.

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