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I'm doing my PhD studies at the University of Eastern Finland and I am one of the researchers in the Human-Forest Relationships in Societal Change Research Project. I study private forest owners’ human-forest relationships (HFR) in Finland using qualitative research methods.
The human-forest relationship is heavily featured in the current social debate. The Finnish National Forest Strategy 2025 talks about the importance of the individual's forest relationship in relation to the appreciation of Finnish forests and the acceptable multiple use of forests. One of the key objectives of the strategy is to increase the sustainable, versatile use of forests, which in turn increases the debate on forests. In the discussions about the forest very different values and feelings related to forests are raised very quickly. The concept of forest relationship is ambiguous and scientifically poorly defined. This project aims at clarifying the discussion related to human-forest relationship and the human-forest relationship as a concept too. In the project, an information resource is formed on the Finnish and international research history of the human-forest relationship, the theoretical frameworks used and the material used. In addition, the project raises emerging research needs.