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Project manager
Jouni Rauhala
phone 029 503 7501
email: firstname.lastname@

Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Lapland
Hallituskatu 5 C, 96101 ROVANIEMI

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Welcome to the home page of NATNET Life+ project!

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The project provides new opportunities for forest owners using EU-funding. NATNET Life+ Nature project (2012-2016) enhances the biodiversity of forests in south-western Lapland. The project manages and protects forests on landowners’ own initiative.

Here you can learn more about the objectives and operations of the project, the METSO program and partners. You may contact us by using contact form or contact information found on these pages


On 1 January 2012, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Lapland (ELY Centre) initiated the five-year Life+ Nature project with its partners. Its goal is to enhance the biodiversity of south-western Lapland as a part of the METSO program started in 2008. The overall objective of the project is to secure the biodiversity of Finnish forests. Typical habitats for south western Lapland are aapa mires, bog woodland, western taiga, alkaline fens, herb-rich forests with Picea abies and natural forests of primary succession stages of landupheaval coast.


ELY Centre operates the project in cooperation with the Finnish Forest Centre, Natural Resources Institute Finland, and the Forestry and The Natural Heritage Services of Metsähallitus. In addition, the local Forest Management Associations work as an expert between the forest owners and authorities.    


The objective of the project is to increase the ecological connections between the Natura 2000 area and other existing protection areas in Southwest Lapland. The ecological connections are established by voluntary permanent protection agreements on privately owned land. Habitats are protected through The Forest Biodiversity Programme of Finland (METSO-programme).

More coherence Natura 2000 network will be achieved through preserving and increasing the biodiversity of nature and by reducing the fragmentation of the  habitats. Nature management actions of the project aim to maintenance, improve and restoration of the habitats. The project is executed in wide co-operation with different authorities and it also develops the functional co-operation between other stakeholders.


NATNET Life+ project concentrates on making inventories of potential habitats for more connected Natura 2000 network through the METSO program, restoring forests and mires, and offering counselling related to natural values for forest owners.

The project offers for forest owners in south-western Lapland a chance to make a nature management plan, which takes into account the natural values of the forest and nature, and is free of charge. In order to make the nature management plan, it is essential to find habitats and estates that increase the ecological connectivity between the Natura 2000 sites. During the planning process valuable habitats and potential objects for restoring are surveyed. Habitat for restoring could be for example low productivity wooded mires (bog woodland). Forest owner will have an estimation of financial compensation on the basis of the nature management plan. The nature management plan is suitable for a forest owner, who wants to take into account the landscape, the recreation and natural values of forest besides the economic values.    

Key parts of the project are the permanent protection agreements. They are made in collaboration with forest owners to safeguard the forest habitats that are important for the biodiversity and increased connectivity of the Natura 2000 network. On the basis of the protection agreement landowners will get a (full) tax-free financial compensation to cover the loss of income resulting from refraining of logging. The preservation contract does not change the ownership of the land.

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