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21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

Case 06 - Integrating ecosystem services into forest policy and management in Finland

Please read the OpenNESS case study booklet 'Ecosystem services in operation' for the final outcomes of the cases. More detailed information about the cases and the tools and methods used can be found on Oppla: www.oppla.eu

In the forest sector, the biggest sustainability challenge relates to the need to balance the traditional orientation towards timber production with newly arising demands for multifunctionality of forests. A further challenge is the emerging demand for bio-fuel production from logging residue to comply with EU Renewable Energy targets (Directive 2003/30/EC). While the purpose is to reduce carbon emissions, removal of organic material from forests can have a major impact on soil carbon sequestration capacity and hence perversely increase atmospheric CO2.

The Ministerial Conference on Protection of Forest in Europe has set a general framework aimed at securing multiple services from forest ecosystems in Europe. This framework requires EU countries to prepare Forest Programmes outlining national and regional forest management strategies.

The aim of this case is to explore the ways in which the concepts of ecosystem services and natural capital could add value to the Forest Programme process.  At the regional level, the focus is on incorporating the notion of ecosystem services into Regional Forest Programmes. The notion of ecosystem services could be helpful in making visible the role of forests as a carbon sink, highlighting the commercial potential of forest-based recreation opportunities and bringing up the social values of forests. In so doing, it can promote explicit analysis of trade-offs between the multiple services of forest ecosystems. At the national level, we will focus on the policy targets related to biofuel production from logging residue and its implications to carbon sequestration.

We will apply (a) participatory methods to identify key ecosystem services from forests, (b) up-to date forest and land-use models to quantify ecosystem services, and (c) monetary and non-monetary valuation methods to communicate the value of these services to policy makers and stakeholders.

The SYKE team members Heli Saarikoski, Eeva Primmer, Petteri Vihervuori, Jari Liski and Jyri Mustajoki will work closely with a regional Case Study Advisory Board as well as National Forest Council including representatives of key stakeholders such as forest owners, forest management associations, forest industry and environmental organisations.