Contact information

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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METSO program

The forest biodiversity program METSO offers private land owners an opportunity to protect their forests voluntary.

One of the goals of METSO is to ensure that in Finland also in future will be forest habitats for declining and endangered species.  A protected forest area is increased by choosing biologically valuable habitats and potential sites near the current network of protected areas (Natura 2000). Program also includes restoring of valuable habitats.

METSO program preserves forests as important habitat of species. In Finland there are ten this kind of forested habitat.  If necessary, habitat’s natural values can be improved by restoring it.  

Protection and preservation is voluntary

The Forest Biodiversity Program METSO 2008–2016 is voluntary-based conservation. Forest owners can offer their forests themselves for the METSO program. Forest is evaluated against selection criteria which define what kind of ecologically valuable habitats are to be protected in the program. The evaluation is based on ecological criteria and it is performed by an expert on each site.  

If a site is approved as a METSO site, the forest owner will be compensated for the costs of nature management on the site and for loss of logging income. This is called a trade of natural values.

The selection of protected areas depends also on their urgency of protection and their distance to existing protected areas.

Help in nature management of forests

Management of forest nature can be implemented during the METSO program. Metsähallitus is responsible for state-owned forests management and restoration. Same actions can also be done on private-owned protection areas by the program.

Management of METSO habitats is planned and implemented in nature management projects. Nature management could be necessary for example in Herb-rich forests and ditched low productivity mires. A habitat for restoring could be for example ecological values lost mire or a spring.

More information about the national wide METSO programme here.