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Conservation and restoration of aquatic ecosystems

We pursue a commitment to the health of aquatic ecosystems in two ways. Firstly by seeking to mitigate or offset negative impacts on migratory fish stocks associated with the construction and operation of our hydropower facilities, and secondly through our efforts to contribute expertise and resources into targeted conservation efforts in the markets where we operate.

Mitigating and offsetting impacts to migratory fish stocks

Our hydropower plants have adverse impacts on aquatic ecosystems. These are caused by the regulation of watercourses, clearing of rivers, and building of dams. Impacts are mainly alleviated by means of compensation in accordance with permit conditions, with the funds being used by authorities to transplant fish and promote research into restoring migratory fish stocks.

We  believe it’s important to restore the natural reproduction cycle of migratory fish stocks in watercourses where it’s cost-effective and where the chances of success are the greatest, and we participate in practical local projects and research activities to promote fish migration.

Hydropower projects are also long-term operations, and we are committed to being transparent and engaging in open dialogue with different community organisations and local government agencies about potential impacts to local waters.

Migrating Fish Program

We want to help fish migrate more freely. We remove migration obstacles and experiment new innovations aiming at revitalising fish stocks across Finland.

 

The waters do not flow in rivers as before. Due to hydropower, rivers have been sprouted and dammed, which has affected the flows and, at the same time, has changed the home environment of migrating fish.

We believe that in revitalising migrating fish stocks the key is to restore fish stocks where there are the best conditions to their natural succes. Means should be designed to best suit each water course and the effectiveness of the actions should be carefully evaluated. There is also plenty of room for new ideas in addition to fishing transplanting and fish ladders.

With our Migrating Fish Program, we want to help fish migrate more freely: we remove obstacles to fish migration and try out new innovations to revitalise fish stocks across Finland.

 

Migrating Fish Program Projects

Project Type Description Schedule Partners Status
Sapsokoski Obstacle removal Dismanteling of and old mill and mill damn 2019- Lappi ELY Preparation for dismanteling, restoration planning
Sateenvarjo III Reserach program Migrating fish development on built water cources 2019- LUKE, other hydro companies On-going
Saimaa land-locked salmon Fish stock revitalisation Breeding and nursery area to Pielisjoki 2018-2019 Pohjois-Karjalan liitto, MMM, Kuurnan Voima and others Construction completed
Multia-Viitasaari Obstacle removal Forest road culvert overhaul 2018 Keski-Suomi ELY, Metsäkeskus Completed
Kalasydän Innovation Piloting of new fish transport technology 2018 Kalasydän Oy, other hydro companies Completed
Sateenvarjo II Research program Migrating fish development on built water cources 2016-2017 LUKE, other hydro companies Completed
Harjavalta Fish stock revitalisation Construction of fish hatchery 2013-2017 Varsinais-Suomi ELY Completed

 

Contributing to the minimising of impacts of water  ecosystems

Beyond our direct obligations, we are also committed to the collaborative role it can play in helping to conserve and restore important aquatic ecosystems in the communities where we operate.

In Poland UPM Raflatac is working with WWF on the Rivers for Life project. This multi-year collaboration is focused on protecting the natural river ecosystems across the country and we are supporting it in a range of ways. In Brazil Raflatac is partnering with the local municipality and six different organisations to restore the forest and revive the river basin ecosystem of Jaguari River in Jaguarina, Sao Paulo.

Our commitment to restoring aquatic ecosystems is also reflected in our work as part of the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG). The mission of BSAG is to revive the ecological state of the entire Baltic Sea by connecting important players in the region. We have a long history of supporting this foundation through donations and various commitments, the latest of which is our 2030 commitment to reuse nutrients in our wastewater treatment, helping direct them away from potentially damaging discharge into the Baltic Sea.