We continuously improve our own biodiversity actions and establish new initiatives with external stakeholders. Working with NGOs, government agencies and educational institutions, we have developed new metrics to monitor forest health, increased our understanding of rare and endangered species and promoted conservation practices worldwide.
Projects and collaboration
In project and collaboration, we monitor our progress through three key indicators:
Complement the set of indicators and develop monitoring with researchers
Biodiversity index and indicator development with external experts.
Improved biodiversity on restored environments
Existence of habitat restoration projects
Species and habitat projects
More joint stakeholder projects to protect biodiversity
Existence of species and habitat projects
Learn more about the different projects:
Groves, areas affected by fires and esker forests are home to approximately 60% of the threatened forest species. However, the proportion of these habitats in Finland and in UPM’s forests is very small. Usually, the species adapted to live in these habitats require active management operations. UPM carries out projects that aim to conserve and improve the living conditions of specialized species in these habitats. We create and improve burning environments by the controlled burning of a variety of forest areas and promote the exposure of esker forests to sun through harvesting and soil preparation.
We are developing forest regeneration methods to replace clearcutting at sites where constant coverage is feasible for wood production and where it is justified to maintain the tree coverage for environmental reasons. These sites are located both in peatlands and mineral soils. In addition to biodiversity, uneven-aged forest structure management may also be justified by water conservation, carbon balancing or landscaping considerations.
Some of the peatlands and small waterways are actively restored with the goal of returning these sites to their natural conditions. Usually this concerns changes related to the water economy. Restoration operations are carried out after careful consideration, avoiding ecological risks. It is often viable to leave the peatlands to restore themselves naturally without any accelerated operations if the valuable species inhabiting the sites mostly occur in ditches. This is because the earlier drying actions have lowered the water surface.
In the beginning of 2023 UPM launched a new stream water program that aims to release or restore 500 km of stream waters by 2030. UPM Forest focuses to restore small waters and to improve the water quality in the catchment area with targeted forest management measures.
Our species projects aim to improve the living conditions of individual species. These projects include improving the artificial nest network for Ospreys and other birds of prey and providing guidelines for wood harvesting near the nests. There are also species living in esker forests and groves that require special attention. All known occurrences of threatened species requiring conservation are protected in forest management.
One target is also to combine measures for the protection of species and forestry. In 2021-2022 UPM implemented the biodiversity project in a large forest area (762 hectares) in Heinävesi to promote living conditions of Siberian jay in commercial forests and in 2022 UPM established a model area for the protection of birds of prey in the UPM-owned Harviala forest area in Janakkala.
The EU funds some of the environmental projects concerning forests. Most recently UPM has participated in the BEETLES-Life and PAAHDE-Life projects. The Beetles project focuses on developing the habitats of threatened beetles, while the Paahde project aimed at improving the living conditions of the species adapted to sun-exposed eskers. Within the Paahde project, UPM carried out burnings and management measures for esker habitats in four Natura-areas in Häme and Etelä-Savo, in a total area of 115 hectares.
Threatened wood-inhabiting fungi are transplanted to new locations in collaboration with LUKE (Natural Resources Institute Finland) and the University of Helsinki. This is a brand new way of conserving biodiversity. By carrying out this project, we hope to discover whether the restoration of fungi to the forest environment can be accelerated with transplantations. We are focusing the transplantations in chosen deadwood sites in UPM’s forests. In this research project the success of the fungi is monitored with DNA analyses and species inventories.
We are monitoring the development of biodiversity with a set of selected indicators. Since it is not possible to monitor all species living in forests, we monitor the state of nature through the development of structural features and through the monitoring of conservation and other operations. The key development areas are the indicators and monitoring processes. We aim to gain more and more reliable and extensive data on biodiversity development.