Onkineva, over 200 hectare highly significant sub-Arctic fen mire and forest site joined the programme in early October. Pahajoenjänkä, a 104 hectare Arctic aapa mire maintains critically important waders and is an important reindeer herding area.
Two major ecosystem complexes have been added in October to the Landscape Rewilding Programme. Onkineva is located in the community of Kärsämäki, north-central Finland, and is the largest natural, little affected fen mire in the region. It is a home of for example endangered Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis), Western Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) and Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola). Overall it is major regional bird sanctuary and stabilizes also the water quality on the locally important small lake, Onkilampi.
Pajajoenjänkä is a 105-hectare sub-Arctic aapa peatland rewilding site in Salla community in Lapland. It is an important site also for reindeer herding. It joins Landscape Rewilding network of Arctic aapa mires and is close to both EU Natura 2000 FI1301404 site Joutsenaapa - Kaita-aapa (12785 ha) and Kouteloaapa Rewilding site acquired earlier in 2021.
Snowchange Co-op has won the The St Andrews Prize for the Environment. It is one of the most prestigious and largest environmental global prizes. The award goes to the Landscape Rewilding Programme of Snowchange. The cash prize is 100,000 USD.
Tero Mustonen comments:
”We bow humbly in receiving this prize which we dedicate to the northern Indigenous and community women who lead the Snowchange work. Rewilding landscapes in Finland using traditional knowledge and science matters for all of Europe because of the migratory bird fly ways and large amount of peatlands we can restore. Our work also ratifies Saami indigenous rights in practice, even though unfortunately they are still not recognized by Finnish Government. We hope the global society joins us in a broad alliance to protect the boreal forests and Northern ecosystems of Finland.”
The St Andrews Prize for the Environment is a major international initiative led by the University of St Andrews that recognises and supports innovative and inspirational responses to environmental challenges, including the climate crisis.
Since 1998, the Prize has awarded more than $2 million in prize money across the world to individuals and organisations whose imaginative solutions are protecting the environment and promoting a more sustainable society. Now in its 23rd year, the Prize aims to champion the people and ideas addressing the greatest challenge of our age.
The St Andrews Prize for the Environment was established in 1998 by the University of St Andrews to recognise significant contributions to environmental conservation. Since its launch, the Prize has attracted almost 6,000 entries which cover everything from reducing human-animal conflict, to environmental justice, to reducing and eliminating waste, to urban regeneration.
There have been 22 winners, who have each received $100,000 to further develop and implement their projects while the runners up have each received $25,000.
Myllypuro stream in the Koitere area has been restored.
Myllypuro stream connecting lakes Valkealampi and Syväyslampi has been rewilded and restored as a part of the efforts of the Koitere rewilding actions. Hydrology, and stream ecology are functioning again.
Hanhiaapa and Kouteloaapa join the programme in Northeastern Lapland. These Arctic sites are safe havens for biodiversity and also important for local reindeer herding.
Kouteloaapa is an aapa mire in Salla, NE Lapland, 42 hectares. Consisting of a border OGF forest site and open aapa mire, the site is a beautiful example of Salla mires, and rather close to a EU Natura 2000 site.
Hanhiaapa is a Kemijärvi -located 105 hectares site that has an over 10 hectare old growth forest site, home of black woodpecker and other OGF species, as well as partially intact aapa open mire. Hanhiaapa is a critically important site for Arctic waders and carbon sequestration.
Lietoja Ecological Corridor is an important ecological corridor in the Koitajoki catchment.
Lietoja Ecological Corridor is an important ecological corridor in the Koitajoki catchment. It contains natural wetlands, old growth forests, remaining river.
Vitsasuo, 31 hectares and Kallansuo, 130 hectares, totalling 160 hectares, have joined the programme.
Vitsasuo is connected with rewilding efforts in the Kivijoki catchment area. Snowchange operates on two other sites, Makkaralatva-aapa, 330 hectares and Leväsuo, 20 hectares in the vicinity of Oijärvi. These actions complement and support the Eu Natura 2000 - area FI1101404, Mursunjärvi-Lammasjärvi-Matilanjärvi-Lamminperä, totaling 707 hectares.
Kallansuo has been the target of peat mining plans for decades. Now it has found a good home in the rewilding programme. It is directly connected to the Natura 2000 site FI1101202, totaling 10883 hectares.
Fire Site and a High Value Island Site Join Rewilding Programme
A natural forest fire, from Selkie in North Karelia, totaling 5,8 hectares, and a boreal high value island of Näkkisaari on lake Kermajärvi have been added to the programme.
The forest fire site burned in June and represents extremely rare habitat for natural burns which supports rare insects and natural succession of a forest. The site is featured in a Channel 4 newspiece following the link.
Näkkisaari island is an ecological corridor supporting the Kermajärvi EU Nature 2000 site, totaling 6154 hectares. A beaver lives on the island.
Two new middle boreal sites, totaling 28 hectares, have been added to the programme in August.
In Haapajärvi, 8,7 young natural forest site was added in late July. Kotalampi peatland and forest of 20 hectares is rich in biodiversity and prehistoric sites. It was added in August 2021 to the programme (pictured).
Channel 4 in the UK recently featured Snowchange sites in the boreal and in the Sámi area in the Arctic.
You can see the media film below.
Errata to IPBES Report in Finnish / July 2021
Errata to IPBES Report in Finnish / July 2021