Guidelines on Closer-to-Nature Forest Management set out means to strengthen biodiversity

News - Published 31.10.2023

The European Commission published the Guidelines on Closer-to-Nature Forest Management last summer. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Ministry of the Environment organised a webinar on 23 October 2023 to discuss the voluntary guidelines specifically from the perspective of boreal forests.

At the start of the webinar, the Commission presented the recently published Guidelines on Closer-to-Nature Forest Management. The webinar marked the opening of the discussion on the significance and implementation of the guidelines in Finland. The key themes of the webinar were retention forestry and continuous-cover forestry.

The guidelines were prepared together with the Member States and relevant stakeholders in the Working Group on Forests and Nature, where Finland was an active participant. The working group also discussed the relationship between sustainable and closer-to-nature forest management. Closer-to-nature forest management can be seen as a means to promote the environmental pillar of sustainable forest management.

The Guidelines on Closer-to-Nature Forest Management contain recommendations for measures aimed to strengthen biodiversity and prepare for the impacts of climate change, with a focus on commercial forests. The main objectives of the guidelines are to increase biodiversity with structural elements and to promote natural dynamics. The key issues to be considered include natural regeneration, how harvesting is implemented, leaving deadwood, how soil and water ecosystems are taken into account and what is retained in the forest.

The guidelines are voluntary, which means that forest owners can use them for the management of their forests if they wish to do so. The guidelines will be developed further by the Member States.

The Finnish organisations involved in drafting the guidelines were the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of the Environment, Natural Resources Institute Finland and Finnish Environment Institute.

Guidelines on Closer-to-Nature Forest Management


  • Katja Matveinen, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 295162287,
  • Maarit Loiskekoski, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295250169,

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry press release 23.10.2023