About 80 percent of people are in favor of expanding Finland’s nature reserves. This is evident from the survey of Economic Research Yle. Young people and women were most enthusiastic about growing Finnish nature reserves.
38 per cent said they wanted more protection measures on both state-owned and private land, while 42 per cent wanted initiatives to focus on state-owned forests.
Leif SchulmanThe director general of the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) said that the results were a clear indication to decision-makers.
The study showed that young adults were more enthusiastic about conservation than the older generations. Women also wanted to protect nature more than men.
Respondents represented different professions. Compared to other professions, farmers were most opposed to the introduction of new protection measures. According to Yle’s survey, respondents who reported as students or unemployed were the most enthusiastic about expanding nature reserves.
Schulman said people are more inclined to favor voluntary protection than forced initiatives.
The expansion of nature reserves is essential to halt the loss of biodiversity, and Schulman says conservation alone will not solve the planet’s biodiversity crisis.
"We need to change the use of natural resources, especially in agriculture and forestry," he said.
The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation has long criticized the amount of logging and demanded that old-growth forests in particular be protected from logging in order to protect biodiversity.
The UN Global Compact calls for the protection of 30 percent of the planet’s land and seas.
The government is currently exploring ways to increase protection.
Schulman told Yle that Finland should initially focus on the protection of state land.
"This land belongs to all of us," he explained. "It’s hard to see why we shouldn’t start from there."
The Finnish Forest and Forestry Agency Metsähallitus manages state forests. The agency annually channels money to the state treasury through logging.
"Metsähallitus needs a political decision to lower its revenue target." Schulman explained.
However, these targets have fallen in recent years – from € 148 million in 2019 to € 114 million in 2020 and € 99 million in 2021. This year’s target is € 119 million.
A survey conducted by Yle Taloustutkimus interviewed 1,614 people in mid-May via an internet panel. The margin of error is 2.3 percentage points in both directions.
Source: The Nordic Page