The funding programme for nature projects started – Metsä Group invites various actors to cooperate

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The application period for Metsä Group’s funding programme for nature projects started today on 1 February 2024. Funding for planned and targeted measures aiming at promoting biodiversity can be applied for until 30 April 2024.

Metsä Group’s funding programme for nature projects is a ten-year funding scheme, launched in 2021, which finances development projects promoting biodiversity implemented outside commercial Finnish forests. To date, about 40 different projects across Finland have been granted funding, amounting to EUR 1,200,000. The company does not seek business profit through the projects.

Funded projects can be related, for example, to nature solutions for the built environment, rehabilitation of aquatic bird habitats and wetlands, watercourses, small waterbodies and the living conditions of pollinators. Completely new applications, for example technical innovations, are also very welcome.

Metsä Group hopes to include as many projects as possible from different parts of Finland. The goal is also to involve various actors such as organizations, associations, schools and municipalities.

"Strengthening Finnish nature is a key common goal for everyone. Metsä Group is a significant social actor. With this funding programme, we want to set an example that funds can also be directed from the private sector to activities that strengthen the state of nature," says Metsä Group's leading nature expert Timo Lehesvirta.

"Our nature is our national capital, on which we depend in many ways. The goal of our ten-year programme is to create a new operating culture and local activities, where nature invites Finns to cooperate instead of different dividing lines," adds Lehesvirta.

The selection of the projects is conducted by an independent expert jury, with representatives from the University of Eastern Finland, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

"The diversity of nature is crucial for the health, well-being and economy of Finnish people. Companies are also dependent on ecosystem services provided by nature, either directly or through subcontracting chains. Biodiversity can be strengthened, for example, by restoring valuable, degraded natural sites. When we protect diversity, we also protect business conditions and manage risks. The contribution of all actors is needed, and companies can be pioneers," says Tatu Torniainen, Sitra's leading expert, Doctor of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, among the board members.

This year, the ten-year funding programme has been allocated EUR 600,000. The aim is to create a diverse set of cooperation projects over the years, in which best practices and the lessons learned are shared between the different operators to develop operations. The insights from these projects are shared in an annual event aimed at the project managers which also provides an opportunity for networking.

"Metsä Group and the entire industry have a key responsibility in environmental issues of forestry. Last year, we launched the principles of regenerative forestry, which guide economic growth and the strengthening of natural capital at the same time. We also started implementing biodiversity plans for the industrial and built environment in mill locations, with Kemi acting as a pilot. The funding programme for nature projects complements the company's own environmental impact management work," says Lehesvirta.

More information can be found from programme's website.

For further information, please contact:
Timo Lehesvirta, Leading nature expert, Metsä Group, tel. +358 400 752 212,


Metsä Group

Metsä Group is leading the way in advancing the bioeconomy. We invest in growth, bioproduct development and a fossil free future. The raw material for our products is renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. We focus on the growth sectors of the forest industry: wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards, as well as tissue and greaseproof papers.

Metsä Group’s annual sales amount to approximately EUR 7 billion, and we have around 9,500 employees in around 30 countries. We promote a culture of diversity, equality and inclusion. Our international Group has its roots in the Finnish forests: our parent company is Metsäliitto Cooperative which is owned by over 90,000 forest owners. 

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