Sustainable return over generations

The goal of Metsähallitus is to develop the use of state-owned land and water areas in a responsible manner so that they bring maximum benefits to society at large. Metsähallitus generates income for the state and, in accordance with its strategy, works to enhance vitality of the regions and promotes natural wellbeing services.

Metsähallitus guarantees the best possible sustainable return on state-owned land over generations and works to enhance vitality of the regions.


Nearly one-third of Metsähallitus' profits are contributed to the State

Metsähallitus will pay the Finnish State EUR 92.7 million in the public interest from its 2017 profits. Most of the profits were generated through timber sales.

The economic wellbeing generated by Metsähallitus is distributed in the form of wages, remunerations, taxes, purchases and dividends to different sectors of Finnish society.

Economic wellbeing in 2017

Income paid to the state, EUR million 92.7
Wages and salaries, EUR million 51,481,434
Regions receiving the highest wage and salary payments, EUR million

Lapland 14,270,863 (28 %)

Uusimaa 9,897,354 (19 %)

North Ostrobothnia 7,205,821 (14 %)

Kainuu 4,869,169 (9 %)
The impacts of the commercial operations (Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd and Metsähallitus Property Development) on the national economy through value chains, EUR million 1,800
Total spending impact of visitors to nature reserves on the local economy, EUR million 258
Total spending impact of wilderness visitors on the regional economy, EUR million 42.7
Employment impacts, person-years

Forest sector jobs generated by multiple-use forests 5,000

Visits to national parks, state-owned hiking areas and certain other nature reserves and recreational areas 2,582

Hunting and fishing customers 261
Forest sector companies operating as contractors 400
Cooperation agreements with tourism operators in nature reserves 606
Nature tourism contracts in multiple-use forests 527


General social obligations at the core of responsibility

General social obligations help to ensure that Metsähallitus operates in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

In addition to the protection of biodiversity, the general social obligations also involve recreational use of nature, employment, ensuring the prerequisites for Sámi culture and the obligations laid down in the Reindeer Husbandry Act. The land use needs of research and educational institutions, the Finnish Defence Forces and the Finnish Border Guard are also considered.

General social obligations arising from commercial operations (Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd and Metsähallitus Property Development) in 2017

EUR million
Biodiversity 37.8
Recreational use 11.6
Reindeer husbandry 2.6
Sámi culture 3.8
Employment 0
Total 55.8


Sustainable tourism

Parks & Wildlife Finland and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Finland have joint principles of sustainable tourism, which are observed in all activities and in all cooperation with tourism operators. In 2017, Metsähallitus had 606 cooperation agreements with tourism operators in nature reserves.

Ethical hunting and fishing

Competent wilderness inspectors of the Wildlife Service ensure that natural resources are used in a sustainable manner and in accordance with ethical principles. The wilderness inspectors, who are in charge of the wilderness supervision, are responsible for the supervision of fishing, hunting and off-road traffic.

Wilderness supervision events and offences in 2017

Wilderness supervision events 10,791
Percentage of offences of all wilderness supervision events 9.8


Vitality for regions through responsible land use planning

Land use planning is especially important for the vitality and economies of sparsely populated regions. Allocation of plots for holiday homes also provides opportunities for recreation in nature.

Metsähallitus' land use planning activities are steered by the land use planning principles set by the state owner. In these principles, special consideration is given to natural, recreation and cultural values, everyman's rights and the social obligations arising from the preservation of reindeer husbandry and Sámi culture.

The purchases and sales of land by Metsähallitus are regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry through performance guidance. Most of the land purchased by Metsähallitus is for the use of the Finnish Defence Forces and Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd.

Employment opportunities for prisoners in open penal institutions

National Parks Finland has been cooperating with the Criminal Sanctions Agency on a regular basis for more than ten years. Metsähallitus provides prisoners in open penal institutions with job opportunities and the funding for these schemes comes from the budgets of Metsähallitus and the Criminal Sanctions Agency.

Metsähallitus’ work sites provide the prisoners with an opportunity for rehabilitation as the day of release is approaching. The prisoners work for National Parks Finland and are treated as employees. Furthermore, the work also involves nature-oriented Green Care rehabilitation in some of the most beautiful nature sites in Finland.

The prisoners themselves are the biggest beneficiaries of the work. As the day of release is approaching, they have a chance to try their skills in a practically oriented environment in a wide range of different tasks. The work strengthens the prisoners’ belief in their own skills and capabilities, especially when the work at the Metsähallitus site is their first employment relationship.

In 2017, by employing prisoners, Metsähallitus was able to keep service infrastructures in good condition and carry out maintenance work at such sites as the Nuuksio, Sipoonkorpi, Liesjärvi, Seitseminen and Helvetinjärvi National Parks, as well as in such locations as Aulanko, Vallisaari and the Evo hiking area.

Rehabilitating work in 2017

Prisoners from open penal institutions used as workforce, person-years 51


Photo: Jari Salonen