Forests in Latvia take up to 3.383 million hectares of land or, 52% of the country’s territory. The Government owns around one-half of the country’s forests, the rest of the forest belongs to approximately 135,000 private owners. The major species are Pine and Spruce taking up to 55% of the forest land combined, then comes Birch with 30% as well as Aspen, Grey and Black Alder, Oak and Ash. The largest forest areas are located in western part of the country. The amount of forestland, is constantly expanding, both naturally and thanks to the afforestation.
The forestry in Latvia is sustainable, forest stand is increasing with every year. There are more than 600 protected environmental territories set aside to protect nature. Many of these areas are included in the unified and pan-European NATURA 2000 network of protected territories.
Viewing platforms, educational trails, cultural and historic destinations, areas for picnic – those are just a few of the leisure infrastructure objects that are also found in Latvia’s forests. The areas of recreation-based forestland include national parks, nature parks, protected landscape areas.
Demand for wood products comes primarly from the construction sector and the market need for packaging materials. Production of furniture and interior elements is another line with increasing demand and wood is an outstanding material, sustainable in every aspect.
To mitigate the climate change, it is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emission and store more carbon gas. Well managed forests work in both ways and further processed wood acts as a carbon sink for hundreds of years.
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