Minister Jan-Erik Enestam: Cooperation between Finland and Russia in the forest sector is part of the concrete contents of the Northern Dimension

Jan Erik Enestam, the Minister in charge of Neighbouring Area Cooperation, opened the Forest seminar, organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and held at the House of the Estates in Helsinki on 17 October 2000. The theme of the seminar was the development of forest cooperation between Finland and Russia. Minister Enestam considers our bilateral forest cooperation as an element of the Policies for the Northern Dimension, which can be supported by cooperation with international financing institutions. The seminar was based on an extensive project, commissioned by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, charting the future prospects of bilateral cooperation between Russia and Finland in the forest sector. The outcome of the project was presented by vice president Harri Ahveninen from Jaakko Pöyry Development Ltd, which was responsible for the implementation of the project.

The Russian delegation in the Forest seminar was led by First Deputy Minister Juriy Kukuyev, Head of the Forest Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation. The members of the delegation represented both the central administration of Russia and the oblasts in Finland’s neighbouring areas.

According to Director General Aarne Reunala from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which is in charge of the practical forest cooperation between Finland and Russia, the main themes in this cooperation are forestry planning, model forests, forest regeneration, forest certification, education and training, and bioenergy. Director General Pekka Kangas from the Ministry of the Environment underlined that forestry in Russia, as elsewhere, should meet the criteria of sustainability. Deputy Head of Department Erkki Palmqvist, representing the Ministry of Trade and Industry, told that his Ministry is conducting forest cooperation with Russia through three lines of action: regional cooperation, promotion of the Northern Dimension, and cooperation with international financing institutions.

Representatives of the World Bank presented the Bank’s new forest strategy draft and new guarantee instrument, which will advance private investments. Both Finnish and Russian nature conservation organisations were represented in the seminar.

During his visit to Finland, First Deputy Minister Kukuyev met Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Kalevi Hemilä and Minister of the Environment Satu Hassi, as well as representatives of the Finnish forest industry.

More information: Markku Kauppinen, Head of Unit for Neighbouring Area Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 - 9 - 1341 5606

Statement by Minister Enestam