Habitat Restoration Work at Metsähallitus
Habitat restoration is a form of nature conservation that involves various measures designed to help ecosystems return to their natural state. Restoration work usually involves a single measure which either triggers a process of naturalisation within an area of habitat, or speeds up a slow process of recovery towards a natural state.
Restoration work has been carried out in protected areas in Finland for about a decade. At first this work largely focused on pine mires, but in recent years spruce mires and forests on mineral soils have also increasingly been restored.
The areas to be restored are situated in southern Finland, the western part of the province of Oulu and the south-western part of Lapland. They are restored as a part of the Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland (METSO). Also the LIFE Nature funding of the European Union has a great role in financing the restoration in Finland. (For more information, see pages Forest Restoration and Mire restoration.)
Since year 2008, Metsähallitus also restores similar habitats on privately owned protected areas.
Metsähallitus has developed suitable measures for the restoration of mire and forest habitats in nature reserves in co-operation with the Finnish Environment Institute.
EU Subsidies for Mire Ecosystems Protection
Finland has a special responsibility for protecting mires, since no other European country except Russia has such a great variety of mire ecosystems. Raised bogs have completely disappeared from many parts of central Europe. Aapa mires do not form in more southerly climes, and the aapa mires of Sweden and Russia are not as diverse as those in Finland.
The European Union's Habitats Directive aims to preserve biodiversity throughout the EU, and describes both raised bogs and aapa mires as extremely valuable habitat types. Finland has received financial support through the EU Life-Nature Fund for mire protection projects, whose major goal is the restoration of drained mires.