The speed of forest growth has increased in Finland in the 1990s and 2000s faster than anywhere else in Western Europe, Helsingin Sanomat reports.
Finland’s forests are growing at a rate of nearly a hundred million cubic metres per year. National forest inventories shows that ten years ago, the figure was about 78 million cubic metres while in the 1951-1953 surveys the annual growth figure was measured at 55.2 million cubic metres. Intensive forestry and the draining of more than five million hectares worth of peatland has nearly doubled annual growth figures in 50 years.
Professor Erkki Tompo from the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), who has led the inventory programmes for many years, said he expects Finland to break the 100 million cubic metre mark.
Inventories of the Finnish forests have been carried out regularly since 1921. Comparable forest inventory data from all of western Europe show that Norway, Italy and Sweden all came close to Finland’s growth figures while in Germany the growth has been more moderate.
Finland and Sweden have more land under forest, 72.9 and 68.7 per cent respectively, than any other country in Western Europe.
– In researcher circles, Finland’s acceleration of growth and the increase of timber capital is considered a worldwide sensation, special researcher Risto Jalkanen from Metla’s Rovaniemi unit told Helsingin Sanomat.www.hs.fi/english