ROSEWOOD4.0-project has organised study visits to share experience and support interregional knowledge transfer. Due to Covid-19, almost all face-to-face visits turned into online seminars. For this reason, study visits were also online between five hubs; Northern, Central-West, Central-East, Southern-West, and Southern-East Europe.
Stakeholders and partners were invited to join these study visits to hear more about chosen best practices. Suitable best practices shall be transferred to other regions to turn weaknesses into opportunities or strengths. Social acceptance of forestry is a hot topic at the moment because of planned EU politics concerning forests, biodiversity, and climate change.
In Finland, the online study visit, entitled “Forest Finland – Forest’s role in everything we have in Finland ” took place in September 2021.
Forests’ role in Finland
Forest Finland, the joint communication project of the Finnish forest sector, was introduced by Ms. Kirsi Joensuu, Executive Director, and Mr. Kai Lintunen, Head of International Communications of the FinnishForest Association. The campaign will awaken and raise people’s interest and encourage discussion about the forests’ role in everything we have in Finland.
The aim of the Forest Finland campaign is firstly to awaken emotions related to forests and secondly to update Finns’ perception of what modern forest use comprises. Did you know that more than half of Europe’s protected forests are in Finland?
Social acceptance of forestry
The audience was very interested in the best practice and lively discussions were raised after presentations. The Forest Finland campaign started in 2020 and will last until the end of 2023.
Although the target group is the Finnish population, most of the material can be found also in English. The campaign has used different types of media: web pages, roadshow, seed disc campaigns, TV campaigns, radio campaigns, outdoor advertising, social media/influencers, cross-marketing, and various cooperation campaigns.
The survey of the effectiveness of the campaign showed that it was rated as a very positive one: reliable, convincing, interesting and informative. It contacted audiences 74 million times in 2020 and 92 million times in 2021. This means that every Finn was reached 16 – 20 times on average.
Dissemination of knowledge like the Finnish Forest Association does, to both big audiences and authorities, on practical forestry and its determined development work is an excellent way to affect the social acceptance of forestry. A lot of actions are going on to develop renewable products and to renew the forestry practices to be more ecological. Sustainable and efficient silviculture is also an important tool in the fight against climate change.
The Forest Finland campaign has a great potential to be benchmarked in Rosewood Network and Europe generally. The campaign has already been introduced in the workshop of southwest Europe in October 2021 to share the experience with the members of the operational group for best practice implementation.
Original article published by:
Anne Saloniemi – Project Manager in the Future Bioeconomy Expertise group at Lapland University of Applied Sciences
Kari Mäkitalo – Senior Scientist at Natural Resources Institute Finland in Rovaniemi.