WWF Finland, Finnish Nature League, Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, Greenpeace and BirdLife Finland – have published a protection proposal for Finnish state owned forests and mires. The proposal includes 500 different sites (about 150 000 hectares), which have been found valuable in field inventories or based on other data. The sites are located in different parts of Finland, although mainly south of the polar circle.
The sites are unprotected forest and peat land areas, which are valuable from the point of view of biodiversity conservation. Many sites also have importance for improving the connectivity between protected areas. In the view of the five NGOs, the sites’ ecological values should be secured by excluding the areas from forestry and other disturbing land use. Preferably they should be turned into statutory protected areas.
The NGO proposal is well timed, because Finland is currently preparing new protection measures on state owned lands, both within the Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland (METSO), and within a new mire protection programme, which will be finalized in 2014.
The environmental NGOs demand that the protection values on state owned lands are not weakened during the time the national protection measures are being prepared. They therefore suggest that the sites included in the proposal are left outside loggings and other forest management activities at least until the end of 2014.
The protection proposal includes a report (in Finnish) with maps and nine example sites. A complete list of the sites can be downloaded from as a list in Excell format or as GIS points.