Nature Relationship

Three young adults, two men and a woman, with a white poodle sitting on smooth bedrock drinking coffee out of guksis and smiling with pine trees and a summery lake in the background

Photo: Emilia Hoisko

The Story

More than 70% of Finland is covered by trees and almost 10% is covered by lakes. Nature has always formed the basis of the Finnish way of life. Finland’s rise to prosperity is based on expertise in using renewable natural resources sustainably. Every Finn truly has an individual connection to nature; more than 80% of Finnish people say the forest is important to them.

Finland is a world leader in sustainable forest management. Commercial forestry must take into account forest biodiversity and carbon sinks. There’s a policy of planting three seedlings for every tree harvested, and logging never exceeds forest growth. Today there is over 50% more timber than 50 years ago.

Finns feel happy in nature, from the rocky archipelagos to the Arctic tundra. They go outdoors to relax and to feel a connection with nature, associating nature with serenity, energy, joy, security, closeness and togetherness. Finns also have a strong desire to protect nature and the environment. Finland has 12,652 protected and wilderness areas, ranging from the sea to the forest, from wetlands to Arctic tundra. Around 12% (2.7 million hectares) of Finnish forest is protected. The voluntary METSO forest biodiversity program compensates private land owners for conservation measures.

The Finnish concept of Every Person’s Right means that anybody may hike, camp, and gather mushrooms and berries in any forest, regardless of who owns it. The Finnish relationship with the natural world goes beyond rest and relaxation and into business expertise. For example, Finnish companies have designed almost 80% of the world’s icebreakers and about 60% of them are built in Finnish shipyards.

Finns love nature, but also benefit from it – sustainably.