Mexico and Finland intensify cooperation in the forest sector

News - Published 3.11.2020

Mexican and Finnish forest experts will strengthen their cooperation in forest sector. Forest cooperation between the two countries is based on a five-year Memorandum of Understanding. The parties to the MoU are the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland and National Forestry Commission of Mexico CONAFOR. Topical topics in cooperation include e.g. forest inventories, drafting of national forest programmes and role of forests in mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Forest inventories are among the key priorities of Finnish-Mexican forest cooperation. On the global perspective, Finland has a very long history in conducting forest inventories. Besides the work on inventories as such, Finland has a lot to offer in the use of satellite images in surveys, management of forest resources data and distribution of data to users.

“However, many of the new challenges relating to e.g. the methods for calculating carbon sinks are quite similar for both countries,” says Kari T. Korhonen, Principal Scientist at the Natural Resources Institute Finland.

Mexico is also interested in Finland’s experiences in drafting national forest programmes. In Finland, national forest programmes have been drawn up since the 1990’s. Mexico’s first national forest programme was drawn up at the turn of the millennium and the work to prepare a new forest programme has now been started in Mexico. The objectives set for forestry have changed a lot over the past 20 years in both countries.

“What is common to Finland and Mexico is that there are many different objectives for forest management. In both countries forest policy preparation takes place as a participatory process where the relevant stakeholders are closely involved. Both parties benefit from the exchange of experiences in drafting forest programmes,” says Marja Kokkonen, Head of the Unit, Forests and bioenergy at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Long history of cooperation with Mexico

Forest cooperation between the two countries is based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2018.

“I am very happy for this opportunity for Finnish and Mexican forest experts to share knowledge and expertise,” says Ambassador Päivi Pohjanheimo from the Embassy of Finland in Mexico. Despite the considerable differences in the management of forests in Finland and Mexico, both countries are seeking solutions to climate change mitigation, safeguarding biodiversity and planning related to forest policy and forest resources.

“We have a long history of cooperation in forest issues between Mexico and Finland. The first contacts between forest experts date back to the 1960s. Forest cooperation with Finland is highly appreciated in Mexico, and it is important for both countries to continue this interaction,” says Ph.D. Markku Simula, who has been involved in the cooperation since the 1980s.

In connection with the implementation of the MoU, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, the Finnish Embassy in Mexico and CONAFOR organised on 3rd and 4th of November two expert webinars. The main topics discussed were forest inventories, drafting of national forest programmes and role of forests in climate change mitigation. 

News from Finland’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 3.11.2020