According to a survey commissioned by the Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF), two thirds of Estonians are in favor of reducing the rate of tree felling in state forests. One in ten of those surveyed would like to see tree felling in state forests stopped altogether.
According to the results of a survey conducted by Turu-uuringute AS, 68 percent of Estonian residents are in favor of reducing the rate of tree felling in state forests. Data provided by the Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF) shows, that 26 percent of those surveyed want to reduce felling rates by at least half, while 25 percent would like to see felling reduced by up to a third of the current rate.
Seven percent of respondents would like to see felling rates lowered by less than a third, while 14 percent would like to see no reduction and two percent would like to see an increase. 16 percent of those surveyed said they were unable to answer the question.
The survey also revealed that 64 percent of male respondents and 72 percent of female respondents would be in favor of reducing felling in state forests, or stopping it altogether.
Regionally, the highest level of support for a reduction in felling was in Tallinn (74 percent) and northeastern Estonia (72 percent). Support was lowest in northern Estonia (61 percent) and southern Estonia (64 percent).
Support for cutting back on felling was highest among those living in Tallinn and Estonia's other major cities (70 percent). Support was lowest in rural areas, towns and villages (63 percent).
The results showed, that 64 percent of Estonian nationals surveyed were in favor of reducing deforestation levels, while the same was true for 77 percent respondents of other nationalities.
The education levels of survey respondents revealed no significant differences in attitudes towards restricting deforestation.
The data also showed, that respondents with lower incomes were, in general, slightly more in favor of cutting back on deforestation than average (69-72 percent). Meanwhile, higher earners were slightly less supportive than average (between 65-66 percent).
The survey was conducted online and via telephone by Turu-uuringute AS between 24 November 24 and December 1, 2022. 1,003 Estonian residents aged 15 and above were surveyed.
According to Turu-uuringute, the maximum margin of error when surveying the overall population is 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level, though it may be larger when analyzing smaller groups.
According to the Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF), an average of 11 million cubic meters of timber are felled annually in Estonian forests, four million cubic meters of which is in state-owned forests. The foundation said, that a reduction in felling rates is need to mitigate the impact of climate change and stop the loss of biodiversity in Estonia's forests. According to the ELF, the quickest and easiest way to achieve these goals would be for the state to reduce the levels of deforestation in state-owned forests.
Editor: Michael Cole