Finnish citizens consider that Finnish forests are being well maintained. Finns also trust in the skills of forest professionals. These are some of the results of the Metsä ja puu [Forest and timber] opinion poll commissioned by the Finnish Forest Association.
A couple of years ago there was a change in people’s self-reported trust in the forest sector, and the trend seems to be strengthening further. The Metsä ja puu opinion poll includes many types of questions measuring the trust, and the responses to all of them show that the trust is on the increase. Previous poll was carried out in 2012 (to see the detailed results, go straightly to the end of this release).
The respondents know that the volume of growth in Finnish forests is greater than the volume harvested. An increasing number of respondents think that there is sufficient raw material in the forests for the needs of industry. Likewise, an increasing number state that Finland’s well-being will rely on forests even in the future.
More people than before think that the use of forests should be intensified in order to improve the employment rate and the standard of living and that, from the viewpoint of the maintenance of forest nature, forestry activity has improved during the last ten years.
An increasing share of the respondents, 86 percent, agree at least somewhat that the forest industry is the most important branch of industry in terms of creating and maintaining well-being and prosperity in Finland. The respondents also consider that it does better in international competition than other branches.
In issues dealing with forest management, the respondents placed the highest trust in forest professionals and researchers. As regards safeguarding biodiversity, researchers were rated as the most trustworthy, followed by forest professionals and environmental organisations with more or less equal shares.
The most trusted environmental organisation was the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation. Support for the WWF, rated as second, continues on a downward trend. Only two percent of the respondents trusted in Greenpeace.
As regards the respondents’ estimate of the share of protected forests of all Finnish forests, the median of the responses was ten percent, which is relatively close to the correct figure. Two thirds of the respondents considered that the share of protected forests is sufficient in both their own vicinity and the whole country.
Nearly half of the respondents thought, and quite correctly, that the area of protected forests in Finland is greater than the average of other European countries. Almost all respondents felt that there are enough forests suitable for recreation in Finland.
The Metsä ja puu opinion poll has been conducted since 1993 using methods that ensure result comparability. A total of 1,012 persons were interviewed, representing Finns between the ages of 15 and 79 and living in mainland Finland (that is, the residents of Åland were excluded).
The interviews were carried out in November and December in 2015 as part of the Omnibus survey by the Taloustutkimus research company. The statistical error is 3.2 percent at most in either direction.
More detailed information on the poll results can be found below. The Metsä ja puu opinion poll was funded by the Metsämiesten Säätiö Foundation and the Finnish Forest Foundation.
For more information, please contact:
- Mr. Anders Portin, Executive Director, Finnish Forest Association, tel: +358 40 586 6179
- Mr. Hannes Mäntyranta, communications coordinator, Finnish Forest Association, tel: +358 50 351 2413
Standard of forestry in Finland...
88 percent of the respondents considered Finnish forestry good, while 11 percent thought that it is rather or very poor. The result is more or less the same as in the previous poll. More than average, forestry was critiziced by people living in southern Finland, highly educated, those voting greens in public elections and forest owners. On the other hand, share of those considering forestry is very good, was larger than average among forest owners, too.
The basis and maintenance of Finnish welfare...
Of industry branches, forest industry was considered to be the most important basis for Finnish welfare. 36 percent of the respondents definitely and 48 percent largely agreed upon this. Share of those agreeing with the claim increased a little bit from 2012. The second largest share was gained by metal industries with a slightly decreasing trend.
Copes best with international competition...
Three out of four respondents at least largely agreed upon the claim that of industry branches, forest industry copes best with demands of international competition. As to metal industries, the share was 66, IT industries 60 and construction 58 percent. As regards to forest industry, the share has not changed from the previous poll, while figures for other industries have decreased.
Forest industry's share of export...
Share of forest industry of Finnish export was around 20 percent in 2014. Of the respondents, a quarter thought that the share is 15-24 percent. Nearly as often the share was considered to be 25-34 percent. There is not any large change compared to the previous poll.
How far do you agree with following...
Finns' trust in forest professionals competence remains on a high level. Perception of the relation between forest growth and logging amounts remains to be correct: forests grow more than they are harvested and the respondents also thought that there is plenty of wood in Finnish forests to be used as industry raw material. Majority considered that Finland's welfare will be based on forest in the future as well. Compared to 2012, slightly larger share of the respondents thought that forests should be utilized more efficiently to create employment and welfare and that forestry activities have changed to be more environmentally-friendly. On the other hand, share of those who think that logging is a threat for biodiversity has slightly increased. More than half of the respondents thought that only a minor share of paper and cardboard is recycled in Finland, while the truth is that the recycling rate is around 70 percent. Share of those thinking that increasing forest protection increases unemployment in the forest sector has decreased.
Standard of forestry in your neighbourhood...
A clear majority of the respondents, 84 percent, thought that the level of forestry activities in their neighbourhood is good or very good. 12 percent thought that the level is poor or very poor. Positive evaluations have somewhat increased from the previous poll.
Sufficiency of protected forests in your neighbourhood...
61 percent of the respondents considered that the share of protected forests in their neughbourhood is suitable and 26 percent thought that the share is too small. Slightly larger share than previously considered that the protection rate is too small.
Share of protected forests in Finland compared to Europe...
Closely half of the respondents thought that there are more protected forests in Finland than in the rest of the Europe on the average. 27 percent considered that the share is more or less the same. Of the respondents, more than previously thought that Finnish protection rate is larger than that of Europe. According to COST E4 -study, the share of protected, productive forestry land in Finland is the largest in Europe.
Share of protected forests in Finland...
Protection rate of productive and low-productive forestry land in Finland is nine percent. Of the respondents, seven percent thought that the rate is 6-9 percent, while smaller share was given by 24 and larger by 56 percent. The median of the answers was ten percent. Slightly larger share than previously thought that protection rate is ten percent or more.
Sufficiency of recreational forests...
Nine out of ten respondents thought that there are enough forests suitable for recreational use in Finland. Seven percent thought that their amount is not sufficient.
Should forest chips be used to make biofuel...
Three out of four respondents thought that forest chips should be used in energy production more than today. One fifth thought that the level is suitable. Share of those who thought the level is suitable today slightly increased from 2012, but, on the other hand, use of chips has increased in energy production lately.
Does use of forest chips endanger biodiversity...
Statement "increasing manufacturing and use of forest chips endangers the forest biodiversity" polarized opinions more than previously. Share of those who agree upon the statement was 42 and disagree was 48 percent. In 2012 the share of those agreeing was 59 and disagreeing 33 percent.
Most reliable source of information concerning forestry activities...
Finns' confidence in forest professionals and forest researchers as source of information is largest, when it comes to forestry issues. The third largest group is forest owners and fourth the representatives of forest owners' union, the MTK. Share of those having largest confidence in forest professionals and forest researchers has increased after 2012.
Most reliable source of information concerning forest biodiversity...
When it comes to safeguarding forest biodiversity, share of those having most confidence in researchers as a source of information was largest, and the second and third groups were representatives of environmental organisations and forest professionals. Share of those having most confidence in researchers increased from the previous poll, and confidence in representatives of environmental increased to the same level where forest professionals are.
Most reliable environmental organization...
The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation FANC is thought to be the most trustworthy source of information concerning forestry issues among environmental organisations. The second one is WWF but it has lost its confidence during last years. Share of those thinking Greenpeace is the most trustworthy is only two percent.
Which is the largest forest owner group in Finland...
Half of Finns thought that state is the largest forest owner in Finland. Individuals and families were thought to be the largest forest owner group by roughly one fourth of the respondents and one tenth thought that forest indystry is the largest forest owner group. In reality, individuals and families own 62 percent of productive and 53 percent of all forest land while state owns roughly third of the forests.
Does your household own forest...
Roughly one fifth of the respondents own forest, which is the same level as generally in Finland.