Human-forest relationship in Finland

Jaana Maarit Laine, Reetta Karhunkorva, Paaskoski Leena, Tuulikki Halla

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Our relationship with the forest can be defined as human-forest relationship (HFR). It is the result of our individual history, family history, cultural background, the society in which we live, and the forest surrounding us. This relationship, which combines both historical and modern values and practices, reflects the constantly evolving global, national, communal and individual attitudes towards forests. The aim of this article is to first, define the concept of HFR and second, to demonstrate how HFR has been, and continues to be integrated into Finnish society and culture. Finally, we will gather some ongoing societal discussion on changes in HFR. The Finnish National Inventory of Living Heritage, established in 2017 included HFR as one of its elements. In March 2018, according to a published survey, 83 per cent of Finns appraised forests either quite or very important for themselves. These results beckoned the question of what is their HFR. Do ageing private forest owners share similar HFR with city dwellers of generation Y? Despite the admitted importance of forests, it seems that the essence of the HFR is evolving and Finns are adapting various HFRs in accordance with the fading traditional economic importance of forests as new values are arising.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Forests – Our Cultural Heritage
PublisherInstitute of Ethnology CAS, Praha
Publication statusSubmitted - 31 Mar 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series


Fields of Science

  • 5202 Economic and Social History
  • Forest history
  • Cultural heritage
  • forest relationship

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