Co-operation with regional and local stakeholders.
Metsähallitus’ operations on state-owned lands generate particular interest. One of their missions is the land use coordination in Lapland and in the whole Finland. Different operators have conflicting views on the use of state-owned Arctic lands and water bodies. Area use planning is one of Metsähallitus’ strengths, and it is used to minimize any conflicts. Metsähallitus’ principle is to carry out close co-operation with regional and local stakeholders in planning forestry, nature conservation and other forms of land use.
Conservation areas established on state-owned lands, such as national parks, wilderness areas and camping areas, form the core of Finnish nature conservation areas. Almost all of these areas are part of the Natura 2000 network of the European Union.
Natural resource planning
Natural resource planning means long-term planning of sustainable development for state-owned land and water areas. Coordinating the various usage needs achieves optimal overall benefits for Finnish society. Natural resource planning also aims to find and utilize new opportunities provided by state-owned land and water areas. Natural resource planning was started in 1997, and it has undergone a long-term development process. Its implementation and sustainable use of natural resources are monitored with 34 indicators. Information from these indicators is collected primarily once a year.
For example, the natural resource plan for Northern Lapland from 2012 to 2021 was drawn up by one broad-based co-operation group that represented 22 different operators. Goals were discussed in municipality-specific work groups in the Sámi region and public events alike. Furthermore, operators and members of the public had an opportunity to give electronic feedback. The views of the Finnish Sámi Parliament and reindeer herders were central aspects in the Sámi region.
Metsähallitus’ Northern Lapland planning area covers the Inari, Utsjoki and Enontekiö municipalities and the Kuutua area of the Sodankylä municipality. Metsähallitus administers approximately 2.8 million hectares of state-owned Arctic land and water areas in Northern Lapland, which amounts to approximately 91% of the total area of the region.
Natural resource planning stakes out the principles of the action programme for a ten-year term. The plan describes the land use coordination in Lapland and defines the emphases and central goals of land use planning, nature conservation, wilderness matters, recreation use of nature, spatial planning, real estate transactions, forestry and soil functions. The plan also defines the scale of forestry operations for the coming ten-year term.