Metsähallitus and environmental organisations are working together to explore alternatives for solving forest disputes in Kainuu. The mediation process launched last November will last until the end of 2020.
The work will follow the procedure for environmental mediation, which is based on definition and delimitation of areas of dispute, building a common knowledge base and engaging in assisted negotiations. The parties jointly selected as their independent mediator Akordi Oy, which specialises in solving environmental disputes.
Many disputes have arisen in recent decades concerning forest management in Kainuu. The differences in opinion have related to issues such as nature and conservation values in logging areas, flying squirrels, forest management in hiking and recreational areas, and landscape issues.
‘The immediate aim of the mediation process is to achieve a shared perspective on the sites that are considered valuable for biodiversity in Kainuu. A further aim is to conserve biodiversity by upgrading the areas’ conservation status and developing forest management methods,’ says Hanna Paulomäki, Program Manager for Greenpeace Norden in Finland.
‘At the same time, the various forms of forest use will be better reconciled,’ says Jussi Kumpula, Managing Director of Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd.
In addition to seeking dispute resolution in Kainuu, the parties intend to create a new national operating model for environmental organisations and Metsähallitus in order to resolve differences of opinion related to forest management.
‘Our shared goal is to intensify cooperation on the protection of endangered species and to build the necessary common knowledge base and operating practices,’ says Harri Hölttä, Chairman of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation.
The mediation process is part of Metsähallitus’ responsibility programme and of the implementation of its biodiversity work.
Jussi Kumpula, Managing Director, Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd, tel. + 358 (0)400 388 614, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hanna Paulomäki, Program Manager for Greenpeace Nordic in Finland
tel. + 358 (0)40 701 8933, email@example.com
Harri Hölttä, Chairman of Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, tel. + 358 (0)40 722 9224, firstname.lastname@example.org