Bothnian Sea (Photo: Heidi Arponen)

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Metsähallitus is preparing maps of the most vulnerable spots in the Baltic Sea, as part of its commitment – given to the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) – to save the Baltic Sea.  Metsähallitus has been surveying sea areas as a participant in the Finnish Inventory Programme for the Underwater Marine Environment, VELMU, since 2004.  Information gathered by more than 66,000 underwater video surveillance cameras, on 550 diving routes and from samples obtained from several hundred bottom fauna will be analysed and processed into maps. They will help to identify locations where biodiversity is likely to be under the greatest pressure. The maps will be published in 2017 as part of Finland’s centennial jubilee.

Metsähallitus will also take protective action in headwater regions. Contractors and other people working in forestry will be trained to plan all measures so as to minimise the runoff of nutrients into the water system.

Bothnian Sea (Photo: Heidi Arponen)

Metsähallitus’ commitment:

Metsähallitus manages state-owned land and water areas – 1/3 of Finland’s land area. Metsähallitus commits to the BSAG’s programme for saving the Baltic Sea. Our commitment is twofold and can be summarised as follows:

1.    Activities in coastal and marine areas
We produce a “treasure map” of the “best of the best” (in Finnish “helmien helmet”)”, i.e. prime sites managed by Metsähallitus with outstanding marine and coastal nature values worth preserving. We identify sites where pressures may affect these values the most. Furthermore, Metsähallitus launches a series of media events raising awareness for, and involving the public in marine and coastal nature conservation.

These new outputs include:
a.    Maps showing the distribution of marine biodiversity and the prime sites to be produced  by the end of 2016 and published in 2017 as a part of Finland’s centennial jubilee

b.    Maps depicting potential pressures, to be published in 2016.

Gulf of Finland (Photo: Mats Westerbom)

2.    Inland activities in catchment areas
We target areas managed by Metsähallitus and in particular those chosen for effective actions. In these areas we:
a.    Implement intensified training of personnel and contractors and development in catchment area planning in connection to forest management planning, with emphasis on reducing nutrient leakages to inland waters.
b.    Identify specific sites close to lakes and rivers where we, by catchment area planning and improving our forestry practices, can improve water quality and conserve freshwater habitat conditions, and commit to launch the necessary actions in these sites.
c.    Monitor results and impacts of water protection activities in forest management.

Repovesi National Park (Photo: Tuomo Häyrinen)

Main results of achievements will be published in 2017 as a part of Finland’s centennial jubilee including different media events.

Milestones (Section 1):
Milestone1: Published roadmap and test/example maps for the 1a and 1b goals, by the end of 2015.
Milestone 2: Published potential pressure maps, by the end of 2016.
Milestone 3: Published biodiversity hot-spots maps, in the first quarter of 2017.

Milestones (Section 2):
Milestone 1: Training of Metsähallitus staff and contractors completed by the end of 2016.
Milestone 2: Model areas for cathment area planning selected by the end of 2016
Milestone 3: Monitoring results and impacts of water protection activities in forest management published by the end of 2016.

Last updated 18 November 2015