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Biodiversity

 

Biodiversity refers to diversity and variation of species and ecosystems. Biodiversity manifests as different habitats and species that are adjusted to live in certain kinds of environments. Genetic variation within a species is one aspect of biodiversity. People are totally dependent on life on the earth. Living nature provides a secure source of food and inspires mental wellbeing. From a bioeconomy perspective, nature offers different options for renewable raw materials and creates a foundation for sustainable operations and their development.

 
 

UPM and biodiversity

Wood is the most important raw material for UPM’s production. In UPM's operations the most significant effects on biodiversity occur in wood sourcing. Wood production takes place on large land areas, and forestry operations have different effects on the state of a forest and the species inhabiting it.

UPM is committed to carrying out and developing sustainable forestry operations. The key objectives of sustainable forestry are efficient production of high-quality wood, maintaining and enhancing biodiversity and protection of water and the recreational and various other uses of forests.

 

UPM-owned forests in Finland

UPM safeguards biodiversity in its own forests through the implementation of its biodiversity program. The biodiversity program was established in 1998 and covers environmental guidelines concerning operational activities, forest conservation and collaboration projects with stakeholders. UPM actively develops forest certification, which is an important tool in engaging operators throughout the forest industry in the principles of sustainable forestry.

UPM owns around half a million hectares of land in Finland. Part of the wood used by UPM’s mills is sourced from the company’s own forests. In addition to supplying wood to its mills, UPM’s forests have a significant role in research and development. The best practices developed in the company-owned forests are offered to forest customers as forestry services.

 
 

Aiming for a positive impact on biodiversity

UPM is aiming to improve the state of biodiversity (Net Positive Impact) while efficiently producing high-quality wood raw materials in the company-owned forests. The indicators used and the measures to be implemented are based on the comparison of natural and commercial forests and the gap analysis identifying the key differences between these two forest types.

The global population growth and the increasing pressure to use land have resulted in the loss of biodiversity on a global level, which, along with climate change, is the most significant environmental challenge of our time. A viable nature should be the target when the bioeconomy helps us move on from the non-renewable fossil-based options to the use of renewable raw materials.

 

Forest management

 
In Finland we use
100% native species
in forest regeneration
 

In our forests, we are targeting to diversified tree species ratios and forest structure as well as increasing the amount of deadwood. The aim with these is improved diversity of forests by increasing the combination of features typical to natural forests.

Conservation

 
Our forests in Finland have
37 680
protected valuable habitats
 

The areas with most important biodiversity values are protected and left out of wood production. These protected areas include small-scale key biotopes, larger conservation areas and individual occurrences of species.

Projects and collaboration

 
Over
30 projects
with our stakeholders
 

We develop our actions by biodiversity projects with our stakeholders. Projects complement our operational activities and conservation measures. We create a new kind of culture of operation, emphasising responsibility and collaboration, and mainstreaming sustainable forestry.

 

Biodiversity indicators and targets

 

The status of forest nature is monitored by using selected biodiversity indicators. By these indicators, changes in forest structure are identified and impact of protection is monitored. Indicators are also set to follow implementation of biodiversity projects and indicator development. We have set indicator-specific targets which are followed by using chosen metrics.

 
Indicator Target Metrics
Tree species Increase the broadleaved tree species volumes Share of broadleeaved trees
Forest age Maintain diverse forest age structure Share of different forest age classes
Forest structure Maintain and increase diverse forest structure Share of alternative regeneration methods
Indicator development Complement the set of indicators and develop monitoring with researchers Create deadwood volumes and diversity monitoring for commercial forests. Biodiversity index and indicator development with external experts.
Protected areas Improved nature conservation network Nature conservation areas (protected areas/total hectares)
Valuable habitats Protected valuable habitats with increased deadwood Valuable habitats protected (protected habitat hectares/total hectares)
Habitat restoration 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
 
 

Forest management

The target of forest management is diversifying tree species composition and forest structure as well as increasing the amount of deadwood. We combine these factors with the aim of increasing the combination of features typical to natural forests and improving diversity, such as increasing the different kinds of deadwood in microclimates and adding different tree species to areas that used to be dominated by one species. The rate of stand development and decomposition processes determine the speed at which changes in forest structure and species occur.

 
 

Tree species composition in UPM's Finnish forests

Pine
62 %
share
Spruce
27 %
share
Broadleaves
11 %
share

Deadwood volumes

Deadwood volume was measured to be
9 m3 per hectare in 2018
in a UPM owned forest estate in Janakkala
Modelling shows, that the mean volume is
21 m3 until year 2100
when following existing biodiversity guidelines
 

Forest conservation

The goal of conservation is to choose the most important areas ecologically and to leave these out of commercial use. We protect key biotopes, larger conservation areas and occurrences of species.  In some areas, we carry out restoration and management operations to secure the species that typically inhabit those areas. We choose the areas to conserve based on the law and on a voluntary basis, due to conservation value. Conservation means that the chosen area is totally set-aside, or if it is managed, forest management is done in a way that ensures biodiversity.

 
Share of protected areas
20 %
of UPM's Finnish land
 
 
 

Protected key biotopes in UPM's Finnish forests

Key biotope Number of sites
Sandy meadow, dune 18
Hardwoods, hazel grove 121
Esker, sunny hillside 85
Cliff, gulley 905
Rocky ground 2604
Wetland 470
Threatened species 1107
Pond 1039
Grove 425
Spring 1304
Mire, bog, swamp 10210
Brook 3746
Flood meadow 250
Black alder swamp, eutrophic swamp 853
Kettle 53
Other protection reason 14490
TOTAL 37680
 

Projects and collaboration

We develop our actions by biodiversity projects with our stakeholders. Projects complement our operational activities and conservation measures. We create a new kind of culture of operation, emphasising responsibility and collaboration, and mainstreaming sustainable forestry.

 
 

UPM's biodiversity projects 1998 - 2020

 
 

Our Uruguayan plantations

Our plantations in Uruguay are situated on grasslands that were formerly used for cattle grazing. We do not convert natural forest areas into plantations, and none of our actions result in any deforestation. In our plantation forests in Uruguay, all valuable biodiversity hotspots such as wetlands and remnants of natural forests are protected. All native species living in these areas are protected by law.

We engage in successful cooperation with local environmental organizations in Uruguay. This work aims to preserve nature and the diversity of native ecosystems and species. The main purpose of the co-operation is to contribute to the biodiversity and enhance the sustainable use of natural resources in the long term. We work together with organizations such as Vida Silvestre and Aves Uruguay.

 

Protecting biodiversity in Uruguay

 

Saving the endangered chestnut seedeater in El Retiro

 
 

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