UPM Global Biodiversity Programme

UPM has developed a global biodiversity programme that aims to maintain biodiversity in forests as well as promote best practices in sustainable forestry and wood sourcing.

UPM’s biodiversity programme has identified six key elements that are important for forest biodiversity. A global target has been set for each key element and these will be implemented through country level targets and local action plans.

UPM’s forestry and wood sourcing operations cover a diverse range of forest
and habitat types.The following case studies provide insight into some of the pioneering biodiversity projects UPM is currently involved in.

Russia - Tracing the origin of Russian wood

UPM has developed a system for tracing the origin of wood from Russia. Knowing the origin of wood ensures suppliers are operating sustainably and legally, and that wood is not sourced from protected areas with high biodiversity value.

UPM’s system is based on three elements:

  • Statement of origin
  • GIS mapping system and database
  • Supplier audits and logging site checks.

The accuracy of the statement of origin is checked as part of the supplier audits, during which UPM also assesses environmental awareness and the impact on biodiversity at the logging site.

Finland - Creating habitat for fire dependent species

In Finland, the population levels of species favouring fi re habitats have declined in recent years due to efficient fire control and fire-free modern silviculture. UPM is carrying out a project that aims to increase the quantity and quality of forest areas that have been subject to fire.

Controlled burns are carried out:
  • as part of ground preparation
  • in retention tree groups on logging sites
  • on specific valuable habitats such as eskers

The impacts of the controlled burns will be studied in cooperation with researchers.
Early results show that many rare and threatened fire dependent species can
inhabit newly burnt areas in commercial forests.

Germany - Promoting biodiversity in the wood supply chain

UPM sources wood from several countries in Central Europe and has developed a system for promoting biodiversity in the wood supply chain.

The system focus on several key steps:
  • Sourcing wood from sustainably managed forests certified by PEFC or FSC or covered by an approved forest management plan
  • Carrying out supplier audits where no certificate or management plan exists
  • Including biodiversity requirements in supply contracts and operational guidelines
  • Offering forest nature management services to private forest owners

Implementing these steps allows UPM to promote sustainability and biodiversity among its staff, contractors, suppliers and forest owners.

UK - Restoring Black Grouse populations

UPM is cooperating with a range of stakeholders to restore the population levels of the Black grouse, a threatened species in the UK.

UPM is creating a mosaic of habitats and implementing a range of measures aimed at promoting the species:
  • protecting and avoiding display sites during mating season
  • planting native tree species and protecting native woodland remnants
  • creating open ground and edge habitat
  • protecting bogs and wetlands
  • remove fences from flight lines

Population monitoring is undertaken on an annual basis and results show a year on year increase exceeding the local Biodiversity Action Plan target

Uruguay - Conserving Uruguayan Palm Savannas

UPM manages forest located in the natural distribution area of the Yatay Palm, a native species protected by law in Uruguay.

UPM has developed methods to promote this species as part of its plantation design and management including:
  • Ecological audit and recording of valuable habitats using geographic information systems
  • Establishment of a Palm Tree Conservation Program
  • New plantation design guidelines to protect adult palm trees, promote connectivity through biological corridors and create larger palm protection areas
  • Stakeholder involvement

Protecting the palm savanna habitat conserves wildlife habitat for a range of species and preserves opportunities for local communities to use the fruits as an alternative source of income.

USA - Conservation easement in Minnesota

UPM and the State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have signed a conservation easement on 76,000 hectares of UPM forest land in Northern Minnesota.

The key features of the conservation easement include:
  • The forest will continue to be certified as sustainably managed, including for biodiversity
  • Development and subdivision of the lands is prevented and alteration of water channels, wetlands, streams and rivers is prohibited
  • Public access is preserved in perpetuity for recreational purposes such as hunting, fishing, hiking and snowmobiling

This landmark easement ensures UPM will continue to manage the forest under its unique Smart Forestry system which is designed to enhance productivity and manage by habitat type.