Published 13.5.2024

Protection of species in state-owned multiple-use forests enhanced – Metsähallitus’ environmental and innovation award granted to a species survey project

The Metsähallitus environmental and innovation award for 2023 has been granted to the Multiple-use forest species survey project. The project produced important further information on the occurrence of several endangered species in commercial state-owned forests. The survey contributes to Metsähallitus’ biodiversity work in multiple-use forests, and its results can be used more broadly to coordinate biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources.

The species survey project examined the occurrence of endangered and otherwise notable species in multiple-use forests owned by the state. Information on species and their habitat requirements is important for coordinating targets set for the commercial use of forests and biodiversity protection in forest use.

-The groundbreaking survey project has produced new information on a subject that was previously poorly known. In addition to producing general species information, the survey contributes to the biodiversity work carried out in state-owned multiple-use forests, and its results benefit the entire forest and natural resources sector,’ says Metsähallitus’ Director General Juha S. Niemelä on the criteria for granting the award.

Headed by Metsähallitus’ forestry species specialists, the project involved carrying out species surveys at 230 sites in state-owned multiple-use forests in 2022 and 2023. The randomly selected sites were located in Lapland, Kainuu and Finnish Lakeland.

The aim was to systematically collect information about species in managed forests and gain targeted information on the occurrence of endangered species at different forest sites. The results of the project provided further information on the occurrence of species and their habitat requirements. The information can be used in the environmental management of forests and as a basis for broader research and survey work on coordinating biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources.

The environmental and innovation award was granted on 13 May to Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd’s species specialists Tuomas Kallio and Pyry Veteli, whose competence and solid expertise were vital for the success of the project.

In recent years, Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd has increased its investments to species matters by recruiting species specialists, developing its guidelines related to considering endangered species, and by providing training to its personnel. More detailed species information has enabled creating forest management methods that address and protect species. The project results allow further improving the quality of operations by specifying guidelines and providing training.

-Based on the survey, some species seemed to thrive in many types of managed forests, and they were therefore observed surprisingly often. Special attention should be paid to safeguarding rare species found in old forests, says Species Specialist Tuomas Kallio.

With the environmental and innovation award, Metsähallitus aims to inspire its own personnel to develop innovative solutions that improve the state of the environment. The award is granted annually to a person, group or project that promotes the key environmental objectives of Metsähallitus through innovation, action or an initiative. These objectives include improving biodiversity, climate change mitigation, sustainable management of natural resources, sustainable nature tourism and environmental protection.

Further information:
Development Manager Johanna Leinonen, email: johanna.leinonen(at), tel. +358 40 7309 114
Species Specialist Tuomas Kallio, email: tuomas.kallio(at), tel. +358 40 5486 023