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Friday, 28 October 2016

Finnish government again encourages forest protection – to celebrate Finland’s centennial year

One of the most famous, protected national sceneries in Finland, view from Koli mountain in the gloom of autumn. Photo: Annamari Heikkinen

A campaign arranged for Finland’s centennial in 2017 urges forest owners to protect their forests. The government promises to match this by protecting corresponding areas in its ownership.
In honour of Finland’s centennial year, the government will further increase the area of strictly protected forests on state lands, which is quite significant even at present. Forest owners are urged to join the celebration next year by voluntarily protecting some of their forests.
The government commits to protecting additional areas to match the new sites in private ownership. The protected area can consist of forest or mire.
The campaign is directed to private family forest owners and enterprises, and no compensation is envisaged for the areas conserved.
The non-recurring campaign will be implemented during 2017. The goal is to permanently protect at least one hundred hectares of forest or mire areas in every administrative region. The sites will remain in private ownership.
As the number of regions is 18, the targeted area totals 1,800 hectares. The sides of a square this size would measure just over 4,200 metres, or about 2.6 miles.

Campaign hatched at ministerial round table

The campaign is one result of the round table discussions between stakeholders of the Finnish forest sector, initiated in January 2016 by Mr. Kimmo Tiilikainen, Finnish Minister of Agriculture and the Environment. The goal of these discussions is to look for new visions, methods and actions to safeguard forest biodiversity, in view of the plans to increase harvesting in Finnish forests.
During the discussions, state authorities, private stakeholders and non-governmental organisations have agreed about implementing the campaign.
Detailed information on the campaign and on how forest owners can participate will be published later this year.

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