Current issue: 53(3)
Under compilation: 53(4)
In this study, the prospects for future forest management in Republic of Karelia, Russia were analyzed. Forestry has an important role in the economy of Karelia. However, productivity and profitability in the forestry sector are extremely low, forest stand structure and quality are weak, the commercial forest land of coniferous species has declined and the wood processing industry struggles with a deficit of raw materials. The situation is typical to many forest regions in Russia with extensive forest management cited as one reason for the current situation. In contrast, the Nordic countries have significant experience in intensive and sustainable forest management and the results have been to a large extent positive. The transfer of Nordic intensive forest management solutions (NIFMS) could improve forestry in Karelia. SWOT analysis, combined with the multi-criteria decision support (MCDS) method was used to identify local operational environments and to assign priorities. Major threats included unprepared regulations, poor road infrastructure, insecure investments, low forestry productivity, forest degradation, high investment costs and a negative attitude to intensive forestry. The main opportunities are high forest resource potential in Karelia, favorable authority development programs, proven Nordic expertise, wood-based energy development and availability of new technology. Results also showed that the main weaknesses that might influence the NIFMS in Karelia are slow return on investments, low market demand for energy wood, high costs associated with young forest thinnings, high demand for skilled specialists and a lack of investment in research and development.
The amount of carbon (C) stored in wood products manufactured in Finland was calculated with the help of a model using wood harvesting statistics, product flows and lifespans in order to study how much C could be set aside from the atmospheric C cycle outside the forest ecosystem. The calculations showed that on the average 9.9 Tg C/a was in harvested timber in 1986–1991 in Finland. C emissions of timber harvest and transport were 0.1 Tg C/a. In production processes about one third of the C bound in in timber was released into the atmosphere, but two thirds was still bound in products. After 50 and 100 years, more than 40% and 33% of the C initially in products was either in products still in use or disposed to landfills. The wood product C storage was most sensitive to landfill decay rate and to the burning of abandoned products for energy, but not to the same extent to the length of the lifespan of products.