Hello,It has been written that Finland "total area 338,000 square kilometres...

Hello,It has been written that Finland "total area 338,000 square kilometres...

Hello,
It has been written that Finland "total area 338,000 square kilometres, of which 10% is water and 69% forest" (http://virtual.finland.fi/netcomm/news/showarticle.asp?intNWSAID=24856). However, I also read that: "In Finland there are 26 million hectares of land for forestry i.e. 88 per cent of the country's area." (http://www.finnfacts.fi/english/main/actualities/paperifaktaa.htm).
I am wondering why there are two different information and what is the right here?
Thank you.

Answer

According to Metla (Finnish forest research institute)78% of Finland’s total area is forestry land and approximately 10% is covered by waterways. This data is collected from their homepage which has been updated in January 2007.

Using the national definition, i.e. the 10th National forest inventory (2004-2005), Finland has 20.2 million hectares of forest land, while according to the FAO definition the figure is 22.5 million hectares.

Metla produces most of the forest statistics in Finland and is thus considered a Finnish authority in the field. It has also been calculated that the area of productive forest land (i.e. land capable of yielding at least 1 m3/ha/year) is about 20 million hectares and that of other wooded land about 2,7 million hectares. Thus the total wood-growing area is around 23 million hectares. Estimations vary from year to year, because the net annual increment of forest land is very high in Finland.

As you can see, water-proof numbers are hard to produce. The estimates you found, 68% and 88% are a bit off. The truth lies somewhere between those numbers.

Sources: http://www.metla.fi/suomen-metsat/index.htm
http://www.metla.fi/metinfo/tilasto/julkaisut/muut/brief2005.pdf
http://www.forestindustries.fi/newsletter/index.html?nl=817&art=820

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