The Finnish Forest and Park Service is clear-cutting old-growth forests. This clear-cut is part of this winter’s loggings covering the oldest known site of habitation of the Kuivajärvi-Hietajärvi folklore village from the 16th century. The area is PEFC certified.
Certification in Finland
Will Flying Squirrel Habitat Be Logged Under PEFC?
The Kukkuri old-growth forest in Finland, where flying squirrels (Pteromys volans) were recently discovered during a field survey, is threatened with more logging this winter by the Finnish Forest and Park Service (FPS). Kukkuri forest is certified according to the Finnish Forest Certification System (FFCS), which is part of the Pan European Forest Certification scheme (PEFC).
Finland is the only country in the European Union where flying squirrels live. The EU Commission recently raised its concern for the inadequate protection of flying squirrels in Finland. In the EU’s Habitat Directive, the flying squirrel is listed as a species of community interest in need of strict protection.
The FPS has also started logging in the valuable old forest in the Riponeva area in Southern Finland, habitat of the regionally endangered Siberian jay (Perisoreus infaustus). The forest is also certified according to PEFC.
In October ornithologists, after field inspections, claimed the area as important habitat for the Siberian jay. The Finnish population of the species has already declined to one third of its
population 60 years ago, due to intensive forest management.
Source: Greenpeace Nordic press release, 31 October 2000. Finnish Nature League press release, 7 November 2000.
Sami People Defend Their Grazing Areas
Sami people in Finland raise concern that the FPS has not negotiated the planned PEFC loggings properly with them. The loggings are to take place between the Hammastunturi wilderness area and Menesjärvi in Northern Lapland. The forest soon to be logged is one of two large remaining forest areas where beard lichen is found, the main diet of reindeer herded by the Sami people.
“We are only allowed to decide where the logging will start and what will be left out,” said reindeer herdsman Petri Mattus. According to Pekka Aikio, President of the Sami Court, no proper negotiations have yet taken place.
In another case of logging the Finnish Muotka-Fells Reindeer-grazing Association recently took FPS to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Source: Helsingin Sanomat (daily Finnish newspaper),
3 November 2000. Maaseudun Tulevaisuus (Finland),
9 November 2000.
Forestry and Wood Certification
For further information please contact
Ellen von Zitzewitz
European Forest Policy Officer
WWF European Policy Office
36, Av. de Tervuren Box 12