Current issue: 54(2)
The area of world forests is gradually declining because of various human activities, such as shifting cultivation, uncontrolled logging and industrial pollution. Continuation of the trends would have detrimental ecological, economic and social effects on global scale. The diversity of the problem is wide. The situation in the tropical developing countries differs from that in the industrialized world. With the present rates of population growth and unchanged forest policies, the fuelwood shortage in developing countries is rapidly aggravating. The need for more agricultural land tends to prejudice conscious efforts to increase wood production.
The industrialized countries are experiencing problems in introducing forest policy means to maintain sufficient timber supply. Rapidly increasing pollution problem cause a serious hazard to the existence of the whole forest ecosystem. Forestry has primarily been a national issue of relatively low priority in political decision-making, which has resulted in insufficient action to remedy the situation at national and international level.
The renewability of forest resources represents a strategic asset, the importance of which is bound to increase in the long-run potential for badly needed economic and social change in the world’s poor rural areas will be lost.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
Metsähallitus (Forest Service) commissioned a study about condition of forests on the coast of Gulf of Finland in the Karelian Isthmus. The study was made because of a growing concern on overcutting of the private forests in the area. Dominant tree species in the area is Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). In fresh mineral soil sites Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) grows in mixed forest with pine or as pure stands. The forests are in average 50 to 70 years old. Younger or older stands are less frequent.
At the beginning of 18th century the local peasants sold plots for Russians, and a villa area was created along the coast. When Finland became independent, many of the properties changed owners. Timber harvesting of the forests increased and many small sawmills increased the demand of wood. Because of the cuttings, productivity of the forests decreases and danger for wind damage in the forests increases.
The author suggests that legislation created to prevent deforestation as well as counselling should be applied to improve forest management. In addition, a protective area should be formed in the Karelian Isthmus where forest preserving directives should be followed.
A summary in German is included in the PDF.