Forests can be seen as a source of wood raw material and bioenergy, a recreational area with health benefits, a carbon sink, and a source of biodiversity. This brief examines how different shifts in perceptions and the forest sector’s operating environment affect Finland’s forest-based production, wood use, and labor skills needs.
The analysis of the future is based on a forecast up to 2026 and scenario work up to 2040. Combined with today’s views on changes in forest ownership and management practices, technological developments, and policy measures already agreed and planned, the foresight work creates a vision for the future of the forest sector. In this brief we present scenario implications for the management and use of Finnish forests, and in Etla Brief 115 we look at the future of forest-based production in Finland.
Although the outlook for the forest-based industries is relatively stable for the coming years, significant changes are foreseen by 2040. Changes in forestry will be driven by changes in forest management practices and forest ownership, climate and biodiversity targets for land use, and changes in the risk of natural disturbances due to the climate change.
Forest management practices are expected to diversify. The multiplicity of forest uses will be further emphasized in education. Forest-related services are expected to increase, which will also increase the importance of customer contact skills. Interactive digitalization will enable the value chain to be integrated into an increasingly cohesive whole.
Finally, the sufficiency of wood raw material is put to the test when the conservation, production, environmental and ownership expectations and rights of Finland’s forests are combined.