Aid for forestry
A private forest owner may be eligible for state aid for various kinds of forest management measures, forest roads and management of forest nature. The aim is to promote measures that have an impact on the growth and use of forests in the long term and where it will take several decades before the private economic benefit to be gained can be enjoyed. The aid should activate forest owners and encourage them to take good and sustainable forest management measures. The aid scheme is hoped to promote nature management in commercial forests and encourage to preserve and restore valuable forest nature sites.
Aid from the scheme for the financing of sustainable forestry can be granted for early tending of seedling stands, management of young stands and collection of small-diameter wood in connection with this, remedial fertilisation, peatland forest management, construction and improvement of forest roads, forest nature management and environmental aid contracts. Information on the amounts of aid and criteria for granting aid by types of work is available on the website of the Finnish Forest Centre.
In real terms, the level of direct state aid for the financing of forest management and forest improvement work in private forestry has been about the same, a little more than EUR 50 million, since the 1970s. In 2023, EUR 47.5 million in state aid can be granted for ensuring sustainable wood production and EUR 17.5 million for promoting forest nature management.
The present scheme for financing sustainable forestry was introduced in 2015, when the Temporary Act on the Financing of Sustainable Forestry entered into force. The scheme is a temporary one and it will be implemented until the end of 2023. The applications for aid under the Temporary Act on the Financing of Sustainable Forestry must be submitted to the Finnish Forest Centre by 1 October 2023. Payments based on decisions under this Act can be made until the end of 2026.
Parliament has already approved the scheme to be applied after the present scheme for financing sustainable forestry. The approval of the European Commission will be required before the new temporary incentive scheme for forestry can become applicable. The aim is to introduce the new incentive scheme in the beginning of 2024.