Forestry firm Stora Enso is launching a pilot programme where it will pay forest-owners across several regions in Finland for leaving their harvested forests in better shape than required by regulations.
The company, one of the world’s biggest forest-owners, will pay €0.50 per cubic metre for retention trees and high stubs beyond certification requirements left in a cleared forest, it announced Wednesday.
In order to achieve Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), forest-owners must leave at least 10 retention trees and five high stumps per hectare.
Stora Enso will pay its biodiversity premium to those who leave twice that amount of retention trees and high stumps to forest-owners across several regions in central Finland, and will decide later in the year whether to expand the programme nationwide.
“When more retention trees and high stumps are left in harvesting, they will increase vegetation coverage and the amount of deadwood, which is important for many plant and animal species,” said Niina Partanen, Stora Enso Forest Finland’s environment manager.
“This way we can also offer forest owners compensation for the costs related to conserving and increasing forest biodiversity in their forests.”
Partanen said the company aims to increase awareness around sustainable forestry management and biodiversity, as well as wanting to reward forest-owners that put this into practice.
“Many forest-owners want to enhance biodiversity, and the biodiversity premium has generated a lot of interest,” she said.
Stora Enso already operates a national biodiversity action programme, focused on nature management measures that benefit endangered species habitats and protect water resources.
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