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Forest Diversity Programme METSO
in Finland

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The Forest Biodiversity Programme METSO, initiated in 2008 and running until 2020, enhances Southern Finland’s network of protected areas and safeguards forest biodiversity in privately-owned forests across the region.

METSO aims to halt the ongoing decline in forest biotopes and species and establish stable favourable trends in forest biodiversity by 2020. METSO is both an acronym for the programme and the Finnish name of the capercaillie, a primitive old growth forest bird. It is a collaborative effort between Finland's Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

In total, the programme defines ten forested habitats to be potentially preserved. The site selection criteria define which habitats are to be protected under the programme. It covers the most important habitats and structural features in Finland’s forests in terms of biodiversity. Another important criterion is the proximity of potential sites to the current network of protected areas and impacts on economic or social activities.

Forest owners are compensated according to the Nature Conservation Act (1096/1996) or the Act on the Financing of Sustainable Forestry in the Finnish legislation (1094/1996). Some areas can also be purchased by the State to be designated as permanently protected areas.

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