Natural Resources and Forest Industry in Karelia Region Essay Sample

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Firstly I will mention about Finnish Karelia, Russian Karelia, their natural resources and forest industries separetely. Then I will make comparison between Karelia regions. Both regions have approximately same conditions for example their climate, natural resources, land forms, history etc…Because they are very close to each other geographically and before the ındependence of Finland (1907) they were managed by same government so they had a common history. 1) FINNISH KARELIA

Karelia (historically also Swedish Karelia) is a historical province of Finland. It refers to the Western Karelia that during the second millennium has been under western dominance, religiously and politically. Western, or Finnish Karelia is separate from Eastern, or Russian Karelia, which was dominated by Novgorod and its successor states from the 12th century onwards. Parts of the historical province of Karelia are divided between the Provinces of Eastern Finland andSouthern Finland. Within the provinces there are also the Regions of North Karelia and South Karelia A large part of Finnish Karelia was ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union in 1940 after the Soviet aggression known as the Winter War. When the new border was established close to that of 1721. During the Continuation War of 1941-44, most of the ceded area was liberated by Finnish troops, but in 1944 was occupied again by the Red Army. After the war, the remains of the Province of Viipuri were made into the Province of Kymi. In 1997 the province was incorporated within the province of Southern Finland.

Western Karelia, as a historical Province of Sweden, was religiously and politically distinct from the eastern parts that were under theRussian Orthodox Church. Following the fall of the Soviet Union the long-silenced debate over returning Karelia from Russia to Finland resurfaced in Finland.

Region has timber and several mineral and freshwater resources. Forestry, paper factories, and the agricultural sector are important for Finnish Karelians.

If we mention about bio energy we can say that; North Karelia invests in renewable energy. Long-term research has led to the emergence of one of the world’s leading wood energy expertise and technology clusters. In addition to dozens of companies in the field, several top research and education units with good international connections also operate in the region. Measured in self-sufficiency and the share of renewable energy, North Karelia already clearly exceeds all climate goals set by the EU for the upcoming decades. Forest reserves and increasing energy efficiency make it possible to further reduce the region’s carbon footprint. Bioenergy is predicted to become a top industry of the future. Its value has already been understood for a long time North Karelia, and now North Karelia is happy to set an example for others.

Karelia has made active policy development related to bioenergy already for years. The new Climate and Energy Programme of North Karelia 2020 was approved in 2011 being the fourth strategic bioenergy related programme adopted since the 1990s. The new programme updates the earlier North Karelia Bioenergy Programme 2015, which concentrated mainly on forest bioenergy, but covered also agrobiomass, biogas, peat and recycled wood. North Karelia has ambitious objectives in bioenergy development. The general objectives of the region are to become a “Fossil oil free region in heating and power generation by 2020” and a “Fossil oil free region by 2030”. Realisation of these objectives will require serious commitment from the whole society to the targets expressed in the Climate and Energy programme: from decision- and policymakers, communities, companies and single individuals. Education and distribution of information play a key role in creating a general attitude that supports positive climate actions.

Also North Karelia is a mineral-rich region. At one time or another, copper, zinc and cobalt have all been quarried from its bedrock. The future of mining industry looks promising. In addition to Pampalo gold mine, one of the most significant projects is the exploitation of copper, cobalt, nickel and gold in Kylylahti. Within stone industry, North Karelia is best known for its soapstone. Soapstone can only found in five countries in the world. It is a unique material because it is easy to work.

It is used to built ovens and fireplaces, among other things, and as versatile construction material for everything from wet areas to facades. The development of the stone and mining industry is supports in many ways. The Finnish Stone Centre in Juuka develops the stone processing business, and the ProKaivos project creates networks to support companies and mining projects in Eastern Finland. The Mineral Processing Laboratory of Geological Survey of Finland in Outokumpu also represents top expertise in the industry. Finland’s most significant old mining complex is also located in Outokumpu. The former copper mine is now a popular mining museum that tells its own stories about the industry’s history and development.

North Karelia is internationally known as an area of forestry expertise, where different uses of forest are in balance. Forestry and forest industry are the cornerstones of the North Karelian economy and making it one of the world’s leading wood producers and providing raw materials at competitive prices for the crucial wood-processing industries. As in agriculture, the government has long played a leading role in forestry, regulating tree cutting, sponsoring technical improvements, and establishing long-term plans to ensure that the country’s forests continue to supply the wood-processing industries.

Finland’s wet climate and rocky soils are ideal for forests. Tree stands do well throughout the country, except in some areas north of the Arctic Circle. In 1980 the forested area totaled about 19.8 million hectares, providing 4 hectares of forest per capita—far above the European average of about 0.5 hectares. The proportion of forest land varied considerably from region to region. In the central lake plateau and in the eastern and northern provinces, forests covered up to 80 percent of the land area, but in areas with better conditions for agriculture, especially in the southwest, forests accounted for only 50 to 60 percent of the territory. The main commercial tree species—pine, spruce, and birch—supplied raw material to the sawmill, pulp, and paper industries. The forests also produced sizable aspen and elder crops.

The heavy winter snows and the network of waterways were used to move logs to the mills. Loggers were able to drag cut trees over the winter snow to the roads or water bodies. In the southwest, the sledding season lasted about 100 days per year; the season was even longer to the north and the east. The country’s network of lakes and rivers facilitated log floating, a cheap and rapid means of transport. Each spring, crews floated the logs downstream to collection points; tugs towed log bundles down rivers and across lakes to processing centers. The waterway system covered much of the country, and by the 1980s Finland had extended roadways and railroads to areas not served by waterways, effectively opening up all of the country’s forest reserves to commercial use.

Forestry and farming were closely linked. During the twentieth century, government land redistribution programmes had made forest ownership widespread, allotting forestland to most farms. In the 1980s, private farmers controlled 35 percent of the country’s forests; other persons held 27 percent; the government, 24 percent; private corporations, 9 percent; and municipalities and other public bodies, 5 percent. The forestlands owned by farmers and by other people—some 350,000 plots—were the best, producing 75 to 80 percent of the wood consumed by industry; the state owned much of the poorer land, especially that in the north.

The ties between forestry and farming were mutually beneficial. Farmers supplemented their incomes with earnings from selling their wood, caring for forests, or logging; forestry made many otherwise marginal farms viable. At the same time, farming communities maintained roads and other infrastructure in rural areas, and they provided workers for forest operations. Indeed, without the farming communities in sparsely populated areas, it would have been much more difficult to continue intensive logging operations and reforestation in many prime forest areas.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has carried out forest inventories and drawn up silvicultural plans. According to surveys, between 1945 and the late 1970s foresters had cut trees faster than the forests could regenerate them. Nevertheless, between the early 1950s and 1981, Finland was able to boost the total area of its forests by some 2.7 million hectares and to increase forest stands under 40 years of age by some 3.2 million hectares. Beginning in 1965, the country instituted plans that called for expanding forest cultivation, draining peatland and waterlogged areas, and replacing slow-growing trees with faster-growing varieties. By the mid-1980s, the Finns had drained 5.5 million hectares, fertilized 2.8 million hectares, and cultivated 3.6 million hectares. Thinning increased the share of trees that would produce suitable lumber, while improved tree varieties increased productivity by as much as 30 percent.

Comprehensive silvicultural programmes had made it possible for the Finns simultaneously to increase forest output and to add to the amount and value of the growing stock. By the mid-1980s, Finland’s forests produced nearly 70 million cubic meters of new wood each year, considerably more than was being cut. During the postwar period, the annual cut increased by about 120 percent to about 50 million cubic meters. Wood burning fell to one-fifth the level of the immediate postwar years, freeing up wood supplies for the wood-processing industries, which consumed between 40 million and 45 million cubic meters per year. Indeed, industry demand was so great that Finland needed to import 5 million to 6 million cubic meters of wood each year.

To maintain the country’s comparative advantage in forest products, Finnish authorities moved to raise lumber output toward the country’s ecological limits. In 1984 the government published the Forest 2000 plan, drawn up by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The plan aimed at increasing forest harvests by about 3 percent per year, while conserving forestland for recreation and other uses. It also called for enlarging the average size of private forest holdings, increasing the area used for forests, and extending forest cultivation and thinning. If successful, the plan would make it possible to raise wood deliveries by roughly one-third by the end of the twentieth century. Finnish officials believed that such growth was necessary if Finland was to maintain its share in world markets for wood and paper products.

Forest products is the major export industry but diversification and growth of the economy has reduced its share a bit.For example in the 1970s, the pulp and paper industry accounted for half of Finnish exports.

Besides, the region’s energy supply is divided as follows: nuclear power, hydroelectric power combined production district heat ,combined production industry.

North Karelia is the European Forest Region.The share of forests is 84 % (15 000 km²) of the total land area. European Besides Forest industry & management employs about 2500 person. Research and technology (R&D) have a significant role in the forest cluster. The regional capital, Joensuu, is one of the Europe’s forestry research centres. Wood energy expertise is concentrated at the headquarters of the European Forest Institute (EFI), the University of Eastern Finland, the North Karelia University of Applied Sciences, the Forestry Centre and the Joensuu branch of the Finnish Forest Research Institution (Metla), among others. Thanks to the reason-based exploitation and responsible silviculture, the forest reserves of North Karelia have increased by 15 % in just a couple of decades. This enables the development of new businesses in, for example, energy production, bioprocessing and forest technology.

Several large forest companies operate in the region, but in addition to producing raw materials, the region also has expertise in wood processing. Finnish Karelia is a region of forests, forest science and versatile, wood-based production chains. North Karelia is a Forerunner in Wood Energy. The Renewables 63% of the total energy use in Finnish Karelia. Wood accounts for over 70% of all fuels used for heat and power generation. Wood energy sources in North karelia : Black Liquor, Industrial side products, Woodchips,Firewood, Pellets. Lot of companies John Deere Ltd, Tulikivi Ltd, Vapo Pellet factory Ltd, NunnaUuni Ltd, Kesla Ltd, Pentin Paja Ltd, Mantsinen Group, Antti Ranta Ltd., Outokummun Metalli Ltd, Waratah OM Ltd, Vexve Ltd, Firotec Ltd., Havel Ltd. …lies in Karelia Region.

Wood for bio energy:
– Very Important role
– Strong political status in the region (oil free region 2030; oil free in heat and power 2020) – North Karelia Bioenergy Programme 2015 (Regional Climate and Energy Programme under process) Production of bioenergy is estimated to rise up to 950 000-1 350 000 MWh by 2015 in North Karelia, and to achieve this, In addition to the public institutions and enterprises the project will also involve financial institutions for developing regional agendas and the Joint Action Plan. The project will provide a good platform for new businesses to grow by using the dendromass resources in the region.

At the moment the region is facing a problem in the forestry and bioenergy sector due to the shortage of raw materials, general decline in economy, Russian wood taxes for exported timber and shift in emphasis of global markets to Asia. It was estimated that almost 1400 jobs would be lost by 2010 due to increase in productivity and indirect effects from outside the forestry sector.

New thinking and innovations are needed to improve the situation, Another impact of the project for North Karelia will be the strengthening of its position as one of the leading European regions in terms of knowledge-based forestry cluster. The expertise of the region can be transferred to other regions in the EU. The already developed regional capacity building tools can be shared with the other regions, at the same time providing necessary feedback for their further improvement.


The Republic of Karelia is located in Russia’s northwest.
Karelia covers an area of 69,700 square miles. The region extends 410 miles from north to south, and 310 miles from west to east. Finland neighbours Karelia to the west; other parts of Russia adjoin to the east. Northeast Karelia lies on the White Sea. The Russo-Finnish border runs along the west. The distance from Karelia’s capital, Petrozavodsk, to the capital of all of Russia, Moscow, is 575 miles. But Helsinki, the Finnish capital, is even closer: it is only 435 miles away. As of 1 January 2009, Karelia’s population numbered 684,000, with 76% living in urban areas. Russian is the state language of Karelia, but the Republic of Karelia is diverse and multiethnic. Karelia is home to 213 different groups, although Russians, Karelians, and Finns make up the majority. Karelia contains 13 smaller cities and around 800 villages and settlements.

Karelia is a land of bluffs, boulders, and tens of thousands of lakes and rivers. The area is often dubbed the Land of Stone, Lake, and Forest, these dominant landscape elements and their unique combination in Karelia. This region has a lot of natural resources. I will try to explain below: Karelia is one of the environmentally purest regions in the whole of Russia. Its forests, rivers, and lakes play a critical part in maintaining the biodiversity of Northern Europe. Over 49% of Karelia is forested, predominantly by pine and fir. The animal inhabitants include reindeer, moose, rabbits, and fish — salmon and trout.

Water accounts for 25% of Karelia’s surface area, and swamps for another 20%. Over 61,000 lakes and 27,000 rivers blanket its landscape. The largest lakes are Ladozhskoe (6,800 square miles) and Onezhskoye (3,800 square miles) — the largest lakes in Europe..

Natural resources
The most part of the republic’s territory (148,000 km², or 85%) is composed of state forest stock. The total growing stock of timber resources in the forests of all categories and ages is 807 million m³. The mature and over mature tree stock amounts to 411.8 million m³, of which 375.2 million m³ is coniferous. Fifty useful minerals are found in Karelia, located in more than 400 deposits and ore bearing layers. Natural resources of the republic include iron ore, diamonds, vanadium, molybdenum, and others. Industrial activity in Karelia is dominated by the forest and wood processing sector. Timber logging is carried out by a large number of small enterprises whereas pulp and paper production is concentrated in five large enterprises, which produce about a quarter of Russia’s total output of paper. The basic are logging, woodworking and pulp-and-paper industries – 41.2%; ferrous metallurgy – 18.0%; electric power industry – 14.8%; engineering industry and metal working, nonferrous metallurgy, food-processing industry – from 5 to 9% each.

Timber resources make 973,7 million cubic metres of wood, 370 million cubic metre of them is coniferous woods. Allowable cut makes 10,6 million cubic metre of timber a year. 10% of iron ore extracted in Russia, 23% of paper made in the country, 9% of cellulose, 7.3% of industrial wood, 4% of saw-timber, about 60% of paper sacks account for the republic. Economy of Karelia which is a frontier region is export-oriented. On breadth of foreign economic relations, on the volume of export per capita Karelia is among in the leading regions of Russia. Exports now account for more than 50% (and up to 100% on a number of branches) of total production. The foreign trade surplus in 2009 has made $803 million, volume of export has made $1041 million, import has made $238 million. One third of external turn of the republic falls to the share of Finland.

Forest resources
As of January 1, 2011, total area of forest land of the Republic of Karelia makes 14,902,500 hectares. Total area of forest land is 14 535,8 thousand hectares, 72,200 hectares are defence and security lands; 3000 hectares are lands of settlements where amenity forests are located; 291,500 hectares are specially protected natural sites (national parks and reserves). The percent of forest area makes 52.7%. The Forestry Code of the Russian Federation has established powers of bodies of the government of constituent entities of the Russian Federation in the field of forestry relations. One of the fundamental powers transferred to the level of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation concerns development and approval of the Forestry Plan of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation and forestry rules of forest areas. In 2010 amendments to the approved Forestry Code of the Republic of Karelia were made, it was endorsed by the Federal Forestry Agency.

Forestry rules were developed for all the 17 forest areas; specifications, parameters and terms of permitted forest exploitation were stated for them. According to the forestry rules, allowable cut in territory of the Republic of Karelia in 2010 has made 10,6 million cubic meters. Among the powers of a constituent entity of the Russian Federation there is granting of timber land within the forest resources for constant (termless) using, rent, fixed-term use without consideration, as well as conclusion of afforestation purchase and sale contracts. As of January 1, 2011,352 forest plots were chartered, including 343 on a leasehold basis, 8 on a fixed-term use without consideration, 1 for constant using. Forest plots were used for logging (143 contracts of rent), development of deposits (121), construction of linear objects (46), recreational activity (19), construction of hydraulic engineering constructions (7), performance of prospecting works (4), management of hunting facilities (3).

For logging forest exploitators rented forest plots which total area is 8897,9 thousand hectares (in 2009 ,9506 thousand hectares) with annual delivery of 6,8 million cubic meters concerning all kinds of cuttings (6,9 million cubic meters in 2009). The volume of logging concerning all kinds of cuttings has made 5,6 million cubic meters (5,7 million cubic meters). In 2010 the right of logging was granted to citizens for their own needs. 7306 positive decisions were made amounting to 215,9 thousand cubic meters, in fact it was logged 165,9 thousand cubic meters timber (136,9 thousand cubic meters in 2009). In 2010 logging in young growths was conducted on the area of 13,200 hectares (9,700 hectares). Among the transferred powers in the sphere of forestry relations there are organization and protection of forest (including suppression of forest fires), protection and reproduction of forest.

The area of protected territory of forest resources of the Republic of Karelia makes 14,5 million hectares, of which 47% is the area of use of aviation force and facilities, 53% is the area of use of ground forces and facilities. Reafforestation in 2010 was carried out on the area of 23,9 thousand hectares (20,8 thousand hectares in 2009), including 22,3 thousand hectares was restored by tenants (19,1 thousand hectares in 2009). Оn the unrented territory (1673 hectares) works were conducted by the State Unitary Enterprise of the RK Forest of Karelia within the scope of the concluded state contract. Forest cultivation work in the republic in 2010 was provided with standard planting stock and materials of a local origin. Efficiency of reafforestation in the republic is high.

Management of Natural Resources
Natural resources of the Karelıan Republic form a basis of its economic potential. First of all, it concernes renewable resources which the republic is rich with forest. In a combination to certain advantages of the geographical position of the republic, rather developed transport infrastructure and policy of the Government of the republic rational development of the base of natural resources is a priority task on which solution further economic development of the region depends. A system of organization of performance of some powers delegated by the Russian Federation in the field of forestry relations is created in the republic where amendments were made upon modifications introduced in the forestry legislation of Russia.

The Forestry Plan of the Republic of Karelia, forestry rules of forest areas was corrected. Persons exploiting forest develop long-term projects of forest development for rented forest plots. In 2010 in comparison with the last year the scope of reafforestation works has increased considerably. Work on bringing the state forestry register in correspondence with requirements of the forestry legislation proceeded. One of the basic mechanisms of cooperation between enforcement authorities with users of subsurface resources regarding maintenance of rational and efficient subsurface resources management is obtaining a license for the right to the use of minerals. Another tool of the state geological control is monitoring of performance of conditions of subsurface resources management. Rehabilitation of Mineral Resources

The Republic of Karelia has an extensive mineral resources base and significant opportunities for its development: ferrous, nonferrous and rare metals, gold and metals of the platinum group, nonmetallic minerals, fuel and energy. Of abovementioned minerals as of January 1, 2011 under development are: iron ores at Kostomuksha and Korpangsky deposits of iron ores; feldspar raw materials and quartz at Hetolambino deposit, schungites at Zazhoginsky deposit, petrurgical raw material at Havchozersky deposit. Therapeutic mud and mineral waters are extracted at Gabozero deposit and Marcial Waters.

Deposits of underground waters and building materials are exploited. The base if mineral resources is formed on results of geological study of subsurface resources focused on rehabilitation of mineral resources.. In territory of the republic as of January 1, 2011 there were 520 valid licences for the use of subsurface resources, including 367 — for widespread minerals, 36 — for non-commonly occurring minerals, 117 — for extraction of underground waters from single wells.Renewal of enterprising interest to development of bowels in 2010 is illustrated by the fact of carrying of 16 auctions for the right to use bowels, of which 7 — for extraction of fuel peat, 6 — for sand and gravel, 2 — for block stone, 1 — for geological examination, prospecting and extraction of building stone.

Water Source
The Republic of Karelia possesses widely developed hydrographic network belonging to basins of the White and Baltic Seas and numbering 23,6 thousand of rivers and 61,1 thousand of lakes. Provision of Karelia with superficial water resources is quite high. The Water Code of the Russian Federation states powers of constituent entities of the Russian Federation in the sphere of water relationships, as well as some federal powers granted to be exercised by the executive authority of constituent entities of the Russian Federation. Within the scope of powers concerning accomplishment of measures for protection of water bodies borders of water protection zones and coastal protection belts were established for the Olonka River ,the Megrega River, the Neglinka River and the Lososinka River at the extent of 25.7 km,.Work for approval of projects of districts and zones of sanitary protection of water bodies used for drinking, economic-household water supply and in medical purposes has been organized.


Two linchpins underlie the economy of the Republic of Karelia: processing of local natural resources (timber and minerals) and an advantageous economic and geographical position next to Finland. These factors determine the core activities and regional peculiarities of the Karelian economy. The main industries include timber, timber processing, and pulp/papermaking (41.2%) and hydroelectric energy (14.8%). As of 1 January 2010, the total surface area of forests in Karelia was 55,000 square miles. The region’s total timber reserves make up 34.3 million cubic feet. These timber reserves are still increasing, at a rate of approximately 500,000 cubic feet per year. Owing to Karelia’s position on the international border, much of the economy is still oriented towards export: one third of Karelia’s external trade is with Finland. Agriculture is poorly developed because of the cold climate.

Nonetheless, trout farming in Karelian ponds and lakes is of a notable scale. After the Revolution, the economy of Russian Karelia changed radically: state and collective farms were established and agriculture was mechanized. The forest, mining, and foundry industries were enlarged. Border Karelia, as a section of independent Finland, had to orient itself to Finland rather than to St. Petersburg and Olonec. The lumber industry developed in the region. New arable land was cleared for agriculture

Industrial activity in both Karelia regions (Finnish and Russian) is dominated by the forest and wood proccesing sector. Beside of them;
* Paper and pulp industry,
* Converting and packaging industry,
* Sawmill industry,
* Wood based panel industry
* Building with wood are also common in two regions. Because forests cover %75 of total area in Finnish Karelia, and %85 of total area in Russian Karelia. This is very big amount. In Finnish Karelia the forest sector’s share of GDP in 2006 is %15-20. In Russian Karelia this ratio is a little higher because almost all of the economic activity in this province, is based on forest industry. Whereas in Finnish Karelia there are some mechanical industries..etc The forest sector is really the backbone of the regional economy in the Republic of Karelia as it is, for example, in the neighboring region of Arkhangelsk. 70 million cubic meters woods are produced in every year in Finland. One third of this amount belong Karelia region(North and South karelia totally). Besides 10.6 million cubic meters woods are produced in Republic of Karelia. FOREST INDUSTRY PRODUCTS ( YEAR 1998) Exporter countries| importer countries|

1)Canada| 1)USA|
2)FINLAND| 2)England|
3)RUSSIA| 3)Holland|
4)USA| 4)Belgium|
5)France| 5)Italy|

As we see above Finland and Russia has biggest forest industry products market share on the world after Canada. In two region the exports generally account for more than %50 of total production.

According to the Finnish Forest Industries Federation Chairman Juha Vanhainen, the fact that both Finland Karelia and the Russian Karelia belong to the boreal coniferous forest zone forms the basis for cooperation in the forest-based sector. And accordingly Vanhainen : “In this region, generation after generation has learned to recognise two facts. First, forests do not disappear when exploited with skill – on the contrary, good forest management boosts growth. And second, the industrial utilisation of forests and wood fibres generates prosperity and security for local people”

Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation in summer 2012 was positive for the forest industry. Russia is an important trade partner for the forest industry of Finland, in particular near the eastern border, where Russian timber imports supplement domestic wood procurements. Furthermore, the position of Finnish forest industry products will improve on the Russian market once their export duties decrease along with Russia’s accession to the WTO. Implementation of the WTO agreement has, however, run into some problems regarding softwood tariff quotas and the export duties levied on certain products.

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