The data on privately-owned forests collected by the Finnish Forest Centre quite likely constitutes one of the world’s most extensive databases on forest resources. In May, the extent of data on privately-owned forest stands surpassed the 10 million-hectare mark. This represents 70 per cent of the surface area of Finland’s privately-owned forests.
The forest resources data includes information about soil, the volume and growth of wood as well as forest management needs and felling possibilities. During the current spring and early summer, the database is set to grow by more than half a million hectares, when data collected last summer with the help of laser scanning based on remote sensing will be published to Finnish forest owners in the Metsään.fi e-service.
The database is the result of long-term efforts. The groundwork for the extensive stand-specific data was laid with forest planning carried out as field work at the beginning of the 2000s. Now all data collected with regard to forests is updated continuously with the help of notifications and growth calculations received by the Finnish Forest Centre. Forest inventories based on remote sensing began in 2010. By 2020, all of Finland’s privately-owned forests will have been inventoried with the help of laser scanning. The remote sensing is repeated in each area at approximately 10-year intervals.
The inventory method based on laser scanning adopted five years ago has reduced the costs of forest inventories substantially. At best, the data can be gathered with a cost of five euros per hectare, whereas the collection of equivalent information by way of field work alone would cost nearly four times as much.
The forest resources data is available to all forest owners and forest industry operators. Nearly 40,000 forest owners already use the data available on their own forest, accessible in the Metsään.fi e-service of the Finnish Forest Centre. With the permission of forest owners, the Finnish Forest Centre can also make the forest resources data available to industry operators.
Up-to-date forest resources data and the easy availability of such data promote good forest management, the sufficiency of forest resources and wood’s entry into the market.
The Finnish Forest Centre
Ari Eini, Director
Jorma Jyrkilä, Service Manager, Forest Data