Tuesday, 15 January 2002
FSC Gets a foothold in Finland
FSC-accredited SmartWood recently completed the first forest certification in Finland. The Family Jalas’ Forest, a 230-acre parcel of spruce, pine, and birch, has been owned and actively managed by the family since 1994. Family Jalas’ main objectives are to establish natural succession on the property, and to balance the social, ecological, and economical factors association with managing it.
Mikko Jalas is an active member of the Finnish FSC working group. He and his siblings have integrated the Draft Finnish FSC Standards in their management. Two areas on the property are classified as valuable habitats, according to the Finnish Forestry Act. These habitats are immediate surroundings of a brook and exposed bedrock. Both areas are treated as conservation zones.
The coastal climate of southwest Finland is a good region for forest growth, with relatively even topography and sea-sediment soils. Forests are an important resource of the nation, making up nearly 8% of its GDP. The demand for wood fiber to feed the continually growing forest industry in Finland is huge.
86% of the region where the Jalas property is located is non-industrial private forestland. Under Finnish law, all forest owners are required to a Forest Management Association. FMAs are used to share forest management knowledge and skills amongst members, and to sell the wood coming off their land. Members are local to each other, so the aim is to develop good forest management practice within their locale.
For more information on FSC in Finland, go to www.FSC-finland.org or check out the Family Jalas’ Forest public summary on www.smartwood.org/reports/index.html.