A Change in the Paradigm? Ecosystem Goods and Services in Finnish Forest and Environmental Policies

The framework of Ecosystem Goods and Services, introduced by Millenium Ecosystem Assessment has entered as a key linkage between ecosystems and human well-being. This paper introduces and briefly analyses developments and state of affairs in Finland’s forest and environmental policies and the ways the new emphasis on ecosystem services is so far documented in the strategies and policies related to forests and environment. Some attention is given to international and domestic reasons in this development, including a recent downturn of pulp and paper industries. The international changes from the ”narrow ” biodiversity focus to broader ecosystem services approach are already being taken into account in prospecting Finland’s environmental policies. Comparing to the earlier “environmental turn” in forestry, one may call this as an ongoing “socio-economic turn” in biodiversity based environmental policies in Finland. Ecosystem goods and services will also play important roles in the larger economic, ecological and social frames called as ‘green economy’, ‘green growth’ and ‘bioeconomy’, outlined in some strategic reports. All these reasons, backed by the longer term or more recent development towards multiple-use, environmentally benign forestry and integrated natural resource management, may facilitate an active adaptation towards ecosystem goods and services framework in Finland’s forestry. Consequently, an increased convergence and improved integration of forest and environmental policies within ecosystem services and other supporting frameworks, may result in policy changes which can be called as paradigmatic. Yet this preliminary conclusion requires better evidence and more detailed analysis – and the process itself more time to be consolidated.

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Scandinavian Forest Economics: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Scandinavian Society of Forest Economics
2012, 44
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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