The Regional Forest Programme is the development plan of the whole forest sector of the region concerned. The Programme defines the needs and objectives for the management of forests, forest-based business, and multiple use and protection of forests, as well as proposes the measures and necessary funding to reach the objectives. The Programme is drafted in cooperation with other organisations in the region. The Programme is revised at least every five years. Revisions for 2006-2010 were made in 2005.
The Regional Forest Councils assist the Regional Forestry Centres in drafting and follow-up of the Regional Programmes. Various actors from official organisations to forest owner associations, forest industry and NGOs are represented in the Councils, which also function as communication channel between the stakeholders. The term of the Councils is three years and they are appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the proposal of the Forest Centre.