The analysis of sustainable forest management in Latvia and Finland
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- Master Thesis 
One of the most discussed questions in past decades has been the climate change issue. This has affected policies within industrial sector and the economic by itself. Forest deforestation counts for one fifth of the total emissions worldwide, which leads to the need for better forest management. Finland and Latvia are countries in Europe that have relatively high shares of forest and other wooden land areas. This raises the value of sustainable forest management in these countries to provide the local industries with continues supply of resources, and to prevent the transiency of other values in forests, as biodiversity, health and vitality of forests, non-wood products, cultural and spiritual values, protective and others functions, also related to the climate change. In this paper, the six pan-European Sustainable Forest Management criteria and their indicators are used as quantitative measurement and valuation tool to characterize sustainable forest management in Finland and Latvia more specifically. Finally, a Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis is conducted to give better comprehensive view on sustainable forest management, and to propose what would be the focuses for the future in each of the countries. The brief conclusion is that both countries have implemented sustainable forest management practice in their policies; however, the results differ. Each country has its strong and weak factors, e.g., Finland still is not able to capture the carbon stock in volumes that are generated by deforestation and shifting agriculture, but Latvia still has high levels of damaged forests and tree defoliation in recent years. At the same time, each country has its opportunities and treats, e.g., in Finland 95% of forests are certified, while in Latvia still stay behind in the certification procedure and only half of all forest land areas are certified under international certification scheme. More conclusions can be found at the end of the paper, as well as discussion and suggestions.