Metsä Group acquires nature sites that are used to compensate for the conservation areas required of forest owners by the FSC® forest certification. The new service offered to owner-members ensures that the conservation required of forest estates belonging to the FSC forest certification group is aimed at the most valuable nature sites. Metsä Group’s partner in the acquisition of nature sites is the Dasos Habitat fund managed by Dasos Capital Oy. Key investors in the fund are Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company, LocalTapiola and the Finnish Cultural Foundation. A requirement for the FSC forest certification is that at least 5% of the forest land of the associated forest estate is permanently excluded from forest use.
The FSC defines which types of sites are always conserved. In practice, an estate being associated with FSC does not necessarily have 5% of the types of sites that are always conserved. This means that the forest owner has to conserve ordinary forest so that the 5% conservation requirement is fulfilled.
Metsä Group and the Dasos Habitat fund work together to acquire forest estates that include connected nature sites defined as valuable by the FSC. The estates are incorporated into Metsä Group’s FSC group certification. Metsä Group offers valuable nature sites on these estates to owner-members belonging to the FSC group that don’t have valuable nature sites themselves. These nature sites are used to compensate for the conservation area required of the forest owner. The service is available for Metsä Group’s owner-members.
The most valuable sites conserved
“Many forest owners interested in the FSC have felt that it is unjust to have to conserve forests with no special nature value. We believe that our new service brings a solution for this problem and increases the amount of FSC certified forests in Finland,” says Juha Mäntylä EVP, Wood Supply, Metsä Group. “With this service, forest conservation is aimed at the most important sites in terms of nature value. Our goal is to also build a network of connected conservation sites. The service helps to strengthen both the ecological and economical sustainability of FSC certified forests,” Mäntylä says.
Globally unique service
“This even globally unique impact investment model creates a new forest-based investment object whose earning logic is fundamentally founded on forest-based environmental and ecosystem services. The innovative model can simultaneously achieve the goals of private forest owners, wood processors, certification and sustainable forest management. The primary forestry-related goal of the fund is to support biodiversity in accordance with FSC criteria. The fund helps conserve valuable, still unprotected forest sites throughout Finland,” says Olli Haltia, CEO of Dasos Capital Oy.
The director of FSC Finland, Anna Ylä-Anttila, estimates that the service helps to cover for the shortage of supply of FSC certified wood in Finland by making FSC certification a more tempting option for small forest estate owners. According to Ylä-Anttila, conservation may become much more efficient as valuable and connected forest areas are found and conserved. At best, everyone wins with this arrangement. Metsä Group supports both the PEFC™ and FSC forest certification systems. “Certain industrial customers want some of the wood they acquire to be FSC certified. The growth of the area of FSC certified forests helps us better serve these customers,” says Mäntylä.