Briefly: Considerable increase in forest industry investments – decrease predicted for this year

Forest industry investments in Finland increased by a fifth in 2016 compared to 2015, to slightly over EUR thousand million. The reason behind the increase were the investments of large forest industry companies, the top of which has, however, been bypassed this year.

For example the largest industry investment in Finland ever, the Äänekoski bioproducts mill of Metsä Fibre, will be taken in use during the last quarter of this year. As to this year, a decrease is predicted in forest industry investments.

All in all, investments of Finnish industries are predicted to increase this year by roughly four percent. According to predictions there will be an increase in investments by small and medium size companies.

Of industry branches, investments by forest industry were clearly largest in Finland in 2016. Second was chemical industry with investments of roughly EUR 700 million.

Over half of forest industry investments this year aim at increasing the capacity. Only one tenth of investments are aiming at rationalising.
Of industry branches, forest industry and IT and electronic industries direct most of their investments in new capacity. In the chemical industry, new capasity is planned to be built with 40 percent of the investments.

Overall, demand was the largest factor behind investments in Finnish industries. Evaluations of the factors behind investments gave practically same results as in 2016, although the significance of demand increased slightly in the case of forest industry.

The source of the above information is the investments inquiry of the Confederation of Finnish industries, the EK.

18.1.2017: Bog, lake and river habitats face the largest threat in Europe

According to the first, pan-European comprehensive assessment, over a third of land habitats are under threat, informs the University of Eastern Finland. Bog habitats face the largest threat: of the assessed bog habitats almost all were classified as threatened in the European Union. Nearly half of the lake, river and coastal habitats were classified as threatened.

The forest habitats fare better, but of them, however, a quarter was classified as threatened. Slightly more than a quarter of the marine habitats were classified as threatened, but a great concern is that we still know too little of half of the marine habitats.

There are many reasons behind the decline of the habitats, such as land use changes due to abandonment of traditional grazing lands, drainage and urbanisation. Other reasons are pollution as well as invasion of alien plants and animals. Also effects of the climate change can be seen in the European nature.

The European Red List of Habitats provides an entirely new tool to asses the status of the habitats, but it does not substitute the national assessments. It covers a much wider range of habitats than the Habitats Directive, all in all 490 habitats in 35 countries.

Over 300 experts have contributed to produce the assessment, which was coordinated by the Dutch Wageningen Environmental Research, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and British NatureBureau.

Additional information: The European Red List of Habitats

11.1.2017: Nature gift for the centenarian Finland

The campaign ”My nature gift for the centenarian” for Finnish landowners was launched today in Helsinki. The campaign offers the landowners a possibility to establish a nature conservation area. As a part of the campaign, the state promises to establish a corresponding conservation area on its lands.

Participation is voluntary for the landowner. There is no compensation to be paid for the conservation. The campaign is targeted at private landowners, such as individuals, families or organisations.

This non-recurring campaign is to be carried out during Finland’s 100th year of independency, 2017. The target is to establish 100 hectares of new protected areas in each province, amounting at least to 1,800 hectares. The protected areas will remain in the landowners’ ownership and they may consist of forests and mires.

The campaign is carried out by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Ministry of the Environment.

15.12.2016: Not only loggings disturb flying squirrel

Existence of flying squirrel can not be predicted on the basis of changes in landscape or timber stock or loggings only, was a finding in a research carried out by the Natural Resources Institute Finland. Obviously there are some other reasons than forestry activities, such as predators or history of existence of the species.

However, planned increase in loggings decreases the number of habitats suitable for flying squirre, but not similarly in different forest types. The differences are due to forest structure and density of the species.

Flying squirrel is classified as near threatened species in Finland. However, it is protected according to habitat directive of the European Union. The species is not rare in Finland, but its existence is decreasing, which is thought to be due to loggings.

Flying squirrel favours spruce-dominated forests with stout broadleaves, but it can be found in many environments, even in densely inhabited areas.

14.12.2016: The Metso programme gained additional finances

Finnish Parliament plans to increase the finances of Metso forest protection action programme by EUR two million next year. Previously the finances of the programme were decreased by 70 percent.

Organizations of Finnish forest industries and forest owners have made several appeals to strenghten the finances of Metso programme together with environmental organizations. According to the forest sector, the planned increase in finances is necessary but not enough to reach the targets of the programme.

The Parliament will make the final decision of the state budget for 2017 in near future.


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