Greenpeace’s activists protested on an island in Lake Lammasjärvi in Kuhmo, Finland, on 15 February, 2017.
Greenpeace’s activists protested on an island in Lake Lammasjärvi in Kuhmo, Finland, on 15 February, 2017.

The State Forest Enterprise of Finland (Metsähallitus) has invited one of the world’s most prolific actors and environmentalists, Leonardo DiCaprio, to Finland.

The Oscar-winning actor seemingly expressed his concern about logging and its effects on forest biodiversity by sharing a photo of a lake island in Lammasjärvi, a medium-sized lake in Kuhmo, Finland, on 28 February, 2017.

The photo was originally published on Instagram by Greenpeace International. “These beautiful islands in Lammasjärvi, Finland, are threatened by logging,” the caption read. “The forests are of high conservation value and are critical for biodiversity, not to mention extremely beautiful, but we’ve already lost three-quarters of these trees.”

Jussi Kumpula, the managing director at Metsähallitus, says he would be glad to show the logging site to DiCaprio.

“We will be glad to show the logging site, which stands up to critical scrutiny. Forest management on the islands preserves the shore landscape, cultural sites and recreational service structures,” he states in a press release.

He repeated the invitation in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday. “If you comment on an issue, you should come and see for yourself how things are,” he said to the daily newspaper.

Metsähallitus has designated the forest as a recreational forests and reminds that it is consequently treated differently to multiple-use, or commercial, forests. The thinning of the forest, it says, was carried out in a new way to create several interspersed regeneration areas of less than 0.3 hectares. The objective was thus to ensure that there are trees of different ages in the forest and that the forest cover is preserved.

The age of the trees in the forest varied between 80 and 120 years as the forest had not been thinned since the 1960s, according to an earlier press release from Metsähallitus. The forest was thinned according to plan by the end of February.

Metsähallitus also reminds in its press release that Finland is the most forested country in Europe. More than 60 per cent of state-owned forests, it adds, have been designated as non-commercial forests. The state owns approximately one-third of the forests in the country.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Handout / Greenpeace