ABSTRACT

While forestry in Sweden and Finland exhibit certain differences, the sectors in the two countries also show some important similarities. One general similarity is in the pattern of ownership, whereby a relatively large proportion of the forested land in the two countries is privately owned and state ownership is more extensive in the north than in the south. In Sweden, the state today owns only a small percentage of the productive forest lands, and about a fifth of the total forest land. Approximately half of the country’s forests are family owned. Company ownership also plays a large role (Boreal Forests of the World, 2003b; Swedish National Board of Forestry, 2004). In Finland, the state owns some 30 per cent of the forested area, with approximately 60 per cent privately owned (Rikkinen, 1992; Finnish Forest Research Institute, 2006). In the north, however, the state is often the majority owner, in particular for forest in sparsely populated areas. Accordingly, state forest policy has a considerable impact in the areas (cf. Rikkinen, 1992). The state organizations which manage forests in the countries

are Metsähallitus (the Finnish forest and park service) and Sveaskog1 respectively. In both countries, forest policy at the regional level is administered through county or district forestry boards.2 In Finland, these are directed by Forest Centres, which include representatives from a range of stakeholders in forestry. The agencies which coordinate land-use administration and planning and implement state policy at the regional level in general are the regional councils or administrations: in Finland, the Regional Council of Lapland (Lapin Liitto), in Sweden, the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen).