Safeguarding forest biodiversity in Finland: Citizens and non-industrial private forest owners views
Metlan työraporttejaWorking Papers of the Finnish Forest Research Institute
Finnish Forest Research Institute Metsäntutkimuslaitos
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Safeguarding forest biodiversity has become an important issue internationally as well as in national forest and environmental policies. In Finland, the METSO Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland was accepted in 2002. METSO proposed a set of new incentive-based policy instruments, such as nature values trading and competitive tendering that were tested in 2003 2007. The METSO Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland for the period 2008 2016, approved by the Government in 2008, will continue to promote voluntary conservation schemes. The objective of this study was to examine the attitudes of Finnish citizens in general and the NIPF owners in particular towards the safeguarding of forest biodiversity, its socio-economic effects, compensation policy and policy instruments. This publication summarizes the results of three postal surveys carried out by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) in 2002, 2003 and 2005. Three out of four citizens supported an increase in forest conservation in Southern Finland from the current level. Nearly two thirds of citizens agreed that forest conservation should mainly be implemented by using instruments such as voluntary contracts and information. Given such instruments, citizens willingness to pay for increased conservation would be greater than in the case of land acquisition. Three out of four citizens considered that the payments to the landowners should cover at least the full amount of forgone timber revenues. Thus, arrangements that involve a full compensation to landowners seem to be in line with citizens perceptions of the fair distribution of the costs of conservation. Forest owners showed little support to an increase in traditional, land acquisition-based conservation in private lands. However, more flexible arrangements for safeguarding biodiversity were considered much more acceptable. In choice situations between the status quo and increased conservation based on voluntary contracts, one third of forest owners always chose a conservation option. The acceptability of conservation contracts was strongly affected by the terms of the contract, such as the initiator, duration, restrictions on forest use, and payment details. Generally, the ability to retain one s property rights and sovereignty was of particular importance. The emphasis on voluntariness may increase the social acceptability of conservation and thereby reduce the potential for conflicts. In principle, the incentive-based flexible instruments also give a chance to improve the cost-efficiency of nature conservation.
- Metlan työraportteja