Metsä Group has made funding decisions in the most recent application process of its nature program. A diverse set of cooperation projects to safeguard the diversity of Finnish nature was chosen to be funded. Experts from key stakeholders in the natural resources sector participated in the project evaluation.
In the autumn of 2021, Metsä Group launched a ten-year programme to support regionally effective development projects that support biodiversity and the state of waters. The projects may relate to bird waters and wetlands, watercourse routes, small waters and coastal environments, pollinator habitats or new water protection methods. The projects are not related to Metsä Group's own service activities in commercial forests. The ecological sustainability of forestry operations is developed in its own programme.
Roughly 30 projects took part in the round of applications, which ended in late May 2022. The following projects were selected for the programme, with a total financial investment by Metsä Group of approximately EUR 250,000.
- Rehabilitation and renovation of the Capeenpuro in Laukaa
- Pölyttäjälinna- project in Salo
- Rehabilitation and renovation of Kalkkistenkoski in Asikkala
- Vilajoki biodiversity project in Lappeenranta
- Simpelejärvi renovation work in South Karelia
- Meidän jälkemme biodiversity project in West-Saimaa
- Järvi Tarkka shore meadow project in Kauhajoki
- Nationwide waterfowl resting area project
- Wetland project in Kauhava
- A project to transfer migratory fish to Kemi and Ounasjoki
“We are grateful for the popularity of our financing programme. Based on the applications, nature is perceived as important, and Finns want to be active and cooperate in various projects that protect our nature", says Timo Lehesvirta, leading nature expert at Metsä Group.
New projects will be selected for Metsä Group’s nature management programme annually. The next selections will be made in the summer 2023, and the deadline for applications will be at the end of May 2023. The next round of applications will be opened in February 2023 in https://www.metsagroup.com/sustainability/forests-and-wood/nature-management-programme/.
For funding to be granted, the project must have proven positive impacts on biodiversity or the state of waters, the applicant must have provided Metsä Group with accurate and adequate information about the funded project, an analysis must have been carried out on different sources of funding, the project must be launched in accordance with the application, and the applicant must meet the monitoring and reporting requirements.
"As a forest industry company, we must identify development targets for our own operations in forestry environmental issues. In addition to this, as a significant player, we want to promote an operating culture where new ideas, functionality and community are born for the benefit of our country's nature, also outside of commercial forests", continues Lehesvirta.
In project assessments, Metsä Group cooperates with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of the Environment, the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the University of Eastern Finland and the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK).