ABSTRACT

Forestry is one of the most important resource industries in Sweden and Finland. About 50 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively, of the surface area of the two countries is productive forest, most of which is situated in the north (Sweden, 1994; Sweden, 1997; Finnish Forest Research Institute, 2002). The countries are thus ‘forest giants’ (Boreal Forests of the World, 2003a; cf. Huq et al, 1999). For instance, in Finland, the forest sector accounted for 27 per cent of the total value of exports in 2001 and its share of the gross domestic product was more than 7 per cent (Finnish Forest Research Institute, 2002). The dominant tree species in the region are Norway spruce and Scots pine, with birch occurring to a lesser extent (Sweden, 1994).