Increasing the ecological connections and coherence of the Natura 2000 network in South-west Lapland

Project background

The project area includes 32 Natura 2000 network sites (over a total area of 363 000 ha) located in south-western Lapland. The area is extremely valuable and vulnerable due to its unique biodiversity and rare limestone soil. Areas outside the Natura 2000 sites are mostly commercial forests, where mining districts and claims, peat industry and building also take place. This includes some small conservation areas protected by the Finnish Nature Conservation Act and Forest Law. Some state-owned areas are protected by the decision of the Forest and Park Service of Finland. The land use of the project area (i.e. areas outside the Natura 2000 sites) is diverse, but approximately 90% is used for forestry and wood production.

Project objectives

The project’s overall objective is to increase ecological connectivity and establish a green infrastructure that will improve the vitality and coherence of the Natura 2000 network in south-western Lapland and raise the biodiversity of the forests in the project area. A se­ries of actions will target the species and habitats of Community importance within the project area, either to improve and restore their conservation status or, in some cases, to maintain a ‘favourable’ conservation status.

Another objective is to increase the biodiversity in the commercial forests and to protect important ar­eas around and between the Natura 2000 sites. The project will specifically target rare, forest-de­pendent species: the fairy slipper (Calypso bulbosa). It is an im­portant indicator species of the good conditions of the respective forest/mires’ habitats and will benefit from conservation actions in areas where their numbers are in decline.

A further goal is to develop the functional co-opera­tion between different authorities concerning volun­tary nature and forest protection. The project will also improve the networking of the forest owners in mat­ters concerning the management of biodiversity and the natural and recreational values of their forests.


Expected results:

Conservation actions are expected to result in:

• Protection agreements over 2 800 ha; and

• Restoration actions in the Natura 2000 sites (forest restoration on 50 ha; mire restoration actions on 120 ha).

Restoration and nature management practices outside the Natura 2000 sites are expected to result in:

• Mire restoration over a total of 770 ha;

• Production of dead wood over a total of 200 ha;

• Production of charred and burned wood on 150 ha;

• Nature management plans over a total of 5 000 ha; and

• Green infrastructure and ecological connections across some 250 km in total.



Type of beneficiary

Development agency

Name of beneficiary

Centre of Economic Development - Transport and the Environment for Lapland

Postal address

PL 8060

FIN - 96101 Rovaniemi


Phone +358 29 503 7501

Fax +358 16 310340


Name of contact person

Noora Raasakka

Duration of project:

72 months (01/01/2012 - 31/12/2017)

Total budget in euro:


EC contribution in euro with %:

2,555,123.00 (50.00 %)