Estonian forest policy
Estonian forests are of big natural and ecological value. Basis for forest policy is the understanding that the forestry sector of Estonia has a strong profitable potential of material and social benefits, and its use has to be facilitated so that other values and benefits, including environmental, would not suffer.
Estonia is a country rich in forest – over a half (50.6%) of our land is covered with forest. The area and reserve of our forests has increased significantly during the last half-century. In Estonia, forest grows on approximately 2.2 mln hectares, of which approximately 75%, that is, 1.6 mln hectares is manageable forest. Most common tree species are pine, birch and spruce.
- sustainable forestry – management of forests in a way that ensures currently their biological diversity, productivity, capability for regeneration, vitality and potential and enables performing all functions also in the future, without causing harm to other ecosystems;
- efficient forest management – the economic production and use of all forest-related benefits, both in the short and long-term perspective.
The importance of forests is manifested in four aspects:
- economic – forest as a source of revenue;
- social – forest as an ensurer of employment and provider of forest vocation;
- ecological – forest as a preserver of population diversity;
- cultural – forest as a part of Estonian culture.