High stump in a forest

Stora Enso pilots a biodiversity premium for forest owners in Finland

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Stora Enso is piloting a new biodiversity service for forest owners in Finland. In the service, forest owners are paid a biodiversity premium for actions that help to enhance biodiversity in their forests. The service is a part of Stora Enso’s biodiversity action programme in Finland and supports the company ambition to continuously develop operations and find new ways to safeguard biodiversity in forests.

With the new service, Stora Enso encourages forest owners to take care of biodiversity in their forests. PEFC certification forms the minimum level for Stora Enso’s forest management and harvesting operations, and the biodiversity premium is based on the forest owner's decision to leave more retention trees and high stumps in harvesting than required by the certifications.

This means that to get the biodiversity premium, forest owners should leave at least 20 living retention trees and 10 high stumps per hectare. The amounts are double compared to the current PEFC certification requirements. In addition, all deadwood in the stand marked for harvesting will be left unharvested.

"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. This way we can also offer forest owners compensation for the costs related to conserving and increasing forest biodiversity in their forests," describes Niina Partanen, Environment Manager, Stora Enso Forest Finland.

Stora Enso first tested the biodiversity premium in the Varkaus area in Finland in 2022, and now the pilot has been extended to Central Finland, South Savo, and Central and North Ostrobothnia. The amount of the premium is 0.5€/m3. The pilot phase will continue until the autumn, after which a decision will be taken to extend the service nationwide.

“With this service, we strive to generate awareness regarding actions that have proven positive impacts on biodiversity as well as support forest owners in protecting biodiversity values in their forests. Many forest owners want to enhance biodiversity, and the biodiversity premium has generated a lot of interest,” Partanen says.

The new service complements Stora Enso’s biodiversity action programme in Finland. The programme focuses on nature management measures that have been shown to improve habitats for endangered species and water protection.