Forests cover more than 70 per cent of the land area of Finland. Measured by the proportional share of forest land, Finland is the most forested country in Europe. A total of 20.3 million hectares is available for wood production, 61 per cent of this privately owned.
In the past decades the amount of wood harvested has been clearly below th growth, which means that the wood resources keep growing. Today they are about 2,100 million cubic metres. Finland has the fifth largest wood resources in Europe, after Russia, France, Sweden and Germany.
Forests are a renewable natural resource - a source of both economic and spiritual welfare. Forest is one of the dominating elements of Finnish nature and its diversity. Of the Finnish forests 2.9 million hectares are protected or under restricted use, which represents 13 % of the forest area. This is the highest share in Europe. By a wise combination of utilisation and protection, healthy and diverse forests will be preserved for future generations as well. Forests contribute to the mitigation of climate change by sequestering carbon, but climate change also involves various new risks for forests.
The means for regulating the use of forests include legislation, financing, public forest organisations and Finland's National Forest Programme 2015.