Petri Keto-Tokoi & Timo Kuuluvainen: Suomalainen aarniometsä [The Finnish virgin forest]

12 November 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Suomalainen aarniometsä
[The Finnish virgin forest]
Helsinki: Maahenki, 2010. 302 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-5870-06-0
€ 48, hardback

This book explains the cultural significance of forests – particularly virgin forests – to Finns. That term is used to refer to old-growth forests in their natural state, characterised by trees of different ages, an abundance of decaying tree remains, and continuous incremental changes. Nowadays around four per cent of Finnish forests are in a natural or near-natural state, and light is being shed on their ecosystems and the history of the slowly vanishing virgin forests. They are associated with deep-seated values and a multiplicity of roles throughout history. To many artists forests have been a significant elemental force, worthy even of worship; peasants and the timber industry have exploited the virgin forests. The authors also consider whether answers to key environmental issues will be found in old-growth forests: safeguarding natural diversity and slowing climate change. In addition to illustrative material from the authors, the book contains photographs by award-winning photographers Ritva Kovalainen and Sanni Seppo.

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