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 report 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 Etla Brief 114 we presented scenario implications for the management and use of Finnish forests, in this Brief 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. Value added may increase, especially if production side streams can be diverted from energy production to high value-added products. This development will be limited by the inherent energy needs of production processes, which will have to be met by other solutions. 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.
The growing service orientation and increasingly demanding and diversified skills needs indicate that the forest industry is evolving beyond traditional definitions. Therefore, forest sector should actively cooperate with non-wood sectors and educational institutes.