Forest sector roundtable convened to discuss ways to strengthen carbon sinks
On Thursday 2 March, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Maria Ohisalo and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Antti Kurvinen convened a roundtable to discuss the role of the forest sector in climate policy. The aim of the discussion was to clarify the shared understanding of the situation and find solutions to strengthen sinks and reduce emissions.
At the Roundtable, presentations on the theme were given by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Finnish Environment Institute, Scientific Panel on Forest Bioeconomy and Finnish Climate Change Panel. The speakers stressed that urgent actions are needed to strengthen carbon sinks and showed that the net sink can be increased through very different measures.
Price for carbon
Among the key topics raised were carbon pricing and ways to harness market mechanisms to also support carbon sequestration. The discussion stressed the need to coordinate climate and biodiversity objectives. The implementation of the Climate Plan for the Land Use Sector was considered important, and the Roundtable called for measures to update the central government’s strategic plans and the calculations these are based on to correspond to the situation picture.
In the discussion it was stressed that forests are an important part of the Finnish economy and that bio-based products are an important part of the solution to climate crisis. While increasing the growth of forests and maintaining forest health were considered important, restrictions to bring the felling volumes on a sustainable level with respect to nature and climate were also suggested. The key measures to be taken include increasing the added value of wood products and investments in research, development and innovation. The role of technological sinks was discussed as well. Reducing soil emissions in peatlands through continuous-cover silviculture was considered an important part of the climate work in the land use sector. Work to advise forest owners on ways to strengthen sinks and increase growth must be continued.
“The discussion showed very well that there are different options and solutions. At the same time, it became clear that the perspectives of the owners and users of sinks, administration and NGOs must come closer to each other. Reconciling all the different views will not be easy, but the next Government must also work hard to promote this,” Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Antti Kurvinen says.
“For Finnish innovative wood-based solutions to succeed in the world, we must work together to ensure that wood production is in harmony with the carbon sink of our forests and forest nature. Discussion on the future of the sector and keys to its success will be needed in future as well,” Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Maria Ohisalo says.
Besides the public officials, the members of the roundtable for the forest sector were Hanna Aho from the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, Stefan Borgman from the Forestry Experts' Association, Sami Oksa from UPM, Harri Huupponen from the Forest Management Association, Juha Jumppanen from Metsä Group, Anssi Kainulainen from the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners, Kaisa Kosonen from Greenpeace, Jari Kostama from the Finnish Energy, Anniina Kostilainen from the Finnish Sawmill Association, Harri Laurikka from the Bioenergy Association, Paula Lehtomäki from the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, Jari Liski from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Tommi Maasilta from the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Juha Niemelä from Metsähallitus, Mai Suominen from WWF, Kimmo Collander from the Finnish Landowners’ Organization, Mats Nylund from the Central Union of Swedish-speaking Agricultural Producers in Finland, Heli Peltola from the University of Eastern Finland, Sampo Soimakallio from the Finnish Environment Institute, Simo Jaakkola from the Trade Association of Finnish Forestry and Earthmoving Contractors, Jyri Seppälä from the Finnish Climate Change Panel, Kari Korhonen from the Natural Resources Institute Finland, Jaana Kaipainen from the Finnish Forest Centre and Pekka Kallio-Mannila from Stora Enso.
Special Adviser to Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
tel. +358 50 414 1682
Special Adviser to Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
tel. +358 400 694 233
Ministry of the Environment
tel. +358 295 250 053
Head of Forests and Bioenergy Unit
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
tel. +358 29 516 2150