Contact information

Project manager
Jouni Rauhala
phone 029 503 7501
email: firstname.lastname@
ely-keskus.fi

Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Lapland
Hallituskatu 5 C, 96101 ROVANIEMI
P.O.BOX 8060, FI-96101 ROVANIEMI, FINLAND

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (about voluntary conservation agreements in Metso Forest Biodiversity Programme)

How do I know if there are sites suitable for conservation on my land?

If you own forest or undrained peatland that has not been harvested for a long time, the area might be suitable for Metso conservation. The staff of ELY Centre (The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment) will estimate the conservation value of the area free of charge.

How large should the conservation area be?

The surface area should be at least four hectares. However, if the location of the area is exceptionally good or the conservation values are very good, even smaller areas can be protected by Metso conservation agreement.

What kind of restrictions there will be on the use of the protected area?

Briefly, forestry will be forbidden, but otherwise the land use will remain the same. All the details will be negotiated with the landowner case by case.

Is hunting allowed in the area?

                      As before, the landowner will decide on the right to hunt.

How is the compensation payment calculated?

Compensation payment is based on the economic losses due to prohibition of forestry. Usually the financial compensation is equivalent to the value of timber at the protected site.

Is the compensation payment made yearly or in one installment?

                      The compensation payment is made in one installment.

Is the compensation payment considered as taxable income?

                      No, the compensation payment is tax-free.

Is conservation area marked in the forest and how do other people know that the area is protected?

Usually the area is not marked in the forest unless moving in the area is restricted or prohibited. The conservation area is marked on the map and the National Land Survey of Finland will register the site as a conservation area.

Is permanent conservation agreement binding also the future owners of the area?

                      Yes, the conservation agreement is binding also the future owners of the area.

What other alternatives there are to protect the area?

Metso programme enables also land purchases for the state. Also fixed-term conservation agreements are possible.

Will the protection cause any costs for the landowner?

                      There will not be any direct costs for the landowner.

Is it possible to sell the land after the protection?

Yes, you can sell the site normally, but usually the purchase price is diminished by the value of timber.

Is it possible to reverse the conservation decision? (lifting a protection order)

According to the Nature Conservation Act it is possible to reverse the conservation decision in particular cases. Protection order on private land can be lifted provided that the ecological value of the site has declined substantially or its protection prevents the implementation of a project or plan of overriding public interest.

If the property tax will in the future apply for forest areas, will the conservation site be liable for taxation?

There is no solid answer for this question at the moment, for the matter will be decided in political decision making process. However, the conservation area is excluded from the forestry use and therefore the Forest Act is not applicable for the area.

According the "bug law" (Forest Damages Prevention Act) landowner has to harvest the trees damaged by snow or storm. Does this apply on the conservation area?

No. The conservation area is not forestry land and therefore the "bug law" does not apply on it. In fact the decayed wood enhances the nature conservation value of the site. If there are public routes in the area, Metsähallitus will remove any dangerous trees.

If there is a private road association maintaining a road in the area, what will happen to the road association membership and payments?

This will be decided by the board of the private road association. Usually the payments are determined by use of road, so the payments may be abolished or diminished.

How long does it take to make a decision of establishing the conservation area? And when can the landowner expect the compensation payment?

After the landowner has signed a written consent, ELY Centre will make a decision of establishing the conservation area. ELY Centre will then apply for legal validity for the decision; after the legal validity is granted by the Administrative Court, ELY Centre will make the payment. Usually this takes about 2-3 months.

How can I start the conservation process?

                      The process will begin when you contact Lapland ELY Centre.