The recipient of the Metsä360 Award is Arbonaut, a technology company that provides forest reserve information to support decision-making. Operating out of Joensuu, Arbonaut’s methods are used in dozens of countries and in international forest projects that require precise information.
The Arbonaut method can be used to measure forest carbon sequestration, map out the need for forest management, monitor forest biodiversity and prevent forest damage caused by drought, fires, storm winds and growing insect populations. The method includes terrain measurements, map data, laser scanning, satellite images, artificial intelligence and more.
This year, the winner of the Metsä360 Award was chosen by Business Finland Director General Nina Kopola, Editor Henry Tikkanen and Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Petteri Taalas. The winner was announced on 16 November 2023 on the LUT University campus in Lahti.
Reconciliation of economic objectives and biodiversity is possible
According to the award panel, Arbonaut demonstrates that knowledge is power even in the forest sector. Knowledge-based solutions increase understanding and dispel myths related to forests, while sustainable forest management is challenged by threats like forest fires and insect damage.
“The Arbonaut methods can be used to make forest management more efficient and targeted in a timely manner. With accurate forest information, it is possible to improve the methods of felling and create future business that supports the recognition of biodiversity”, says member of the expert group, Economic Counsellor Esko Kolli from the Kolli Foundation.
The Metsä360 Award highlights actions aimed at increasing the added value of forests. Now awarded for the fourth time, the previous winners of the Metsä360 Award are the mycoprotein manufacturing process of eniferBio, Stora Enso’s bio-based carbon and the Sleep Outdoors Night (Nuku Yö Ulkona) campaign by Suomen Latu.
Record number of participants in youth competition
This year, the Metsä360 Competition attracted a record number of participants with over 20 submissions. The winner was a video titled Wonderful Forest (Ihana metsä) by the Hirvelä School in Kouvola. The panel commented that the video had a fresh perspective while being fun, imaginative and visually high quality.
“I am really glad that so many young people were inspired to reflect on the value and significance of forests. Their insights offer food for thought even for adults”, says Mari Kallioinen-Mänttäri, Dean of LUT University.
The winner was selected by LUMA Coordinator Leena Ikonen, JunnuYliopisto Coordinator Annamaria Mustonen, LUT University Development Manager Päivi Saikko and the Kolli Foundation. In addition, Kiiminkipuisto School in Oulu and Frosterus School in Kärsämäki were awarded at the event, and the Vesala comprehensive school in Helsinki received an honourable mention.
The Metsä360 Competition encourages young people to highlight the value and significance of forests in society now and in the future. This year, the video competition was targeted at grades 7–9 of comprehensive school, while previous years’ participants have been upper secondary school students, forestry sector students and scouts.