Forests and Human Health June-18-2013


During the last few years the Finnish Forest Research Institute, Metla, has highlighted the importance of research on human health issues related to forests. Metla has carried out several regional as well as international collaboration projects and a research program on this topic. In this issue of our series of Newsletters from the IUFRO Task Force “Forests and Human Health” we aim to introduce the activities in this field in Finland and especially in Metla.

We interviewed the director of a new strategic programme in the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Director Sixten Sunebacka, and we will deliver a message from the Finnish Government about how we should think about the value of forests in the future; we introduce two Metla projects to show recent research activities on the topic ‘Forest and Human Health’. Furthermore, we will introduce some thoughts and ideas from Metla’s Eastern Unit about potential research activities related to this topic.


The big challenge of shortening the distance between the forest and modern society – interview to the director of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy

The forest sector is extremely important to Finland in terms of our traditions. Currently the forest sector is experiencing large-scale structural change, affecting all operations and organizations. The Strategic Program for the Forest Sector (MSO) is being launched by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. What is the major task and challenge of this program? What is the future value of the forest from the point of view of the government? We posed these questions on a visit to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in an interview with Director Sixten Sunabacka.

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The role of forests for public health

Societies and countries in Europe are undergoing rapid changes and the public faces different key challenges during the next decades, such as inequality, globalization, ageing, migration and urbanization, environmental break-down and climate change (WHO 2012).

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Wellbeing from Forests

Nature-based recreation is an essential part of life for Finnish people. The majority of recreational visits are made to forests. Four out of five people living in Southern Finland have a residence in an urban environment, and urban forests and other natural areas in cities are of great importance for recreation.

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Restorative Forest Trails in four European countries

Seven Leader action groups in four EU-countries: Finland, France, Luxembourg and Sweden have established a common project “Network of densely-wooded regions in Europe”.

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selected Publications >

forthcoming events >

This is the newsletter of the Forests and Human Health task force of IUFRO (The International Union of Forest Research Organizations). It is distributed electronically to members of the task force and all others interested.

You can subscribe it for free or un-subscribe by sending a message to Task force members can submit news or feature articles to the newsletter. The editors reserve the customary right to editorial decisions concerning submissions.

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