Protection of forests in Finland

In Finland, the national parks and strict nature reserves constitute the basic framework of the nature conservation network. Other areas dedicated to biodiversity conservation include, inter alia, strictly protected zones in so called wilderness areas, protected old-growth forests and areas under other conservation programmes, as well as habitats of special importance as defined in the Forest Act.

2.9 million hectares of forests are protected or under restricted use, which is 12,6 per cent of the total forest area in Finland. Forest refers here to forest land and poorly productive forest land, including also forested peatlands.

The total forest area under strict conservation is 2.2 million hectares i.e. 10 per cent of the total forest area. It is a large share in international terms. Most of the protected forest areas are in northern Finland, while in southern part of the country the share of protected forest areas is much smaller.

Related topics
Forest management practices

Related links
Nature conservation areas in Finland (Ministry of the Environment)
Protection of species (Ministry of the Environment)
Protection of habitats (Ministry of the Environment)
Natura2000-areas (
Forest protection statistics (Natural Resources Institute Finland)
METSO programme

Further information

Ville Schildt, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Luonnonvaraosasto, Metsä- ja bioenergiayksikkö 0295162190