UPM, Helsinki, January 10, 2008 - UPM supports the goals of the new action plan finalised for forest biodiversity in Southern Finland. The company considers the preservation of biodiversity as a key part of sustainable forest management.
"METSO 2008-2016 is an important step towards creating acceptable and established methods for protecting forest biodiversity," says Timo Lehesvirta, Environment Manager for UPM Forest. "We want to participate in the creation of a new operating culture where nature protection is a normal and conflict free part of sustainable forestry."
The strength of the METSO 2008-2016 action plan proposal handed over to Minister of Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen on January 8th, is that it is based on the forest-owners' own interest and willingness to voluntarily protect natural values in their forests.
UPM has actively promoted biodiversity in forests it owns or manages and has established that commercial forest management and promoting biodiversity can be combined.
The company has developed a global biodiversity programme for company forests in Finland, the UK, Canada and the United States, the targets of which form the basis for country level targets and local action plans.
UPM's experience and expertise in managing its own forests are also available to the company's forest service customers. UPM's nature management services provide forest owners the possibility to manage their forest and simultaneously promote biodiversity, game bird habitats, landscape values or water quality. The services are planned and implemented according to the special features of the property and the owner's objectives to ensure that different perspectives are equally considered.
One of the targets of the METSO action plan proposal is to develop the existing nature conservation network. UPM has sold or exchanged land with the state of Finland for protection purposes based on various nature conservation programmes. In addition, the company has donated land to the state of Finland in order to establish Repovesi National Park and has voluntarily protected an additional area surrounding the park.
All valuable habitats found in company forests have been surveyed and are protected through legislation or voluntarily by the company's own decision.
In Finland, UPM owns about 920 000 hectares of land. The majority of the company's wood raw material needs are purchased from Finnish private forest owners. UPM manages a large area of private forest land through forest service agreements with the owners.
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