The area of strictly protected forest growing in the state forest increased to 300,000 hectares 16.01
Strictly protected forest, where no forest management takes place, comprises 29.2% of the total forest area managed by RMK.
According to Kristjan Tõnisson, Member of the Management Board of RMK, both the area of forest land managed by RMK and the share of strictly protected forests has increased over the years.
‘In comparison with 2007, the amount of strictly protected forest land has increased by a factor of 2.4. RMK made its own contribution to this in 2017 when it proposed the creation of new forest protection areas and the tightening of the protection regime in existing protected areas covering more than 30,000 hectares. Over the past 14 years, the area of strictly protected forests has grown by an average of 12,500 hectares each year’, stated Tõnisson.
RMK’s strictly protected forest consists of nature reserves, special protection zones, permanent habitats and planned protected areas, key habitats, and strictly protected areas within RMK, such as flying squirrel stops and potential key habitats.
There is no forest management in strictly protected woodlands, with only nature conservation work, which is needed in order to preserve and restore protected species and habitats, being performed.
Estonia ranks second in the European Union in terms of the proportion of strictly protected forest land, i.e. areas where cutting does not take place. Only in Finland are there more protected areas.
Limited management zones in protected areas and habitats are also important when it comes to the protection of forest biodiversity, where RMK manages forests at a lower intensity than is permitted by law. RMK manages 73,400 hectares of forests with management restrictions, and in 2018 RMK carried out regeneration cutting on 132 hectares, which represents 0.18% of the area of forests covered by economic restrictions.
RMK manages – renews, cultivates, uses and protects – state forests in accordance with Estonian law and good forestry practice. RMK has held an internationally recognised sustainable forestry management certificate for nearly 20 years.