The application period for Metsä Group’s funding programme for nature projects started on 1 February 2024. Funding for planned and targeted measures aiming at promoting biodiversity can be applied for until 30 April 2024.
Metsä Group’s funding programme for nature projects is a tennyear funding scheme, launched in 2021, which finances development projects promoting biodiversity implemented outside commercial Finnish forests. To date, about 40 different projects across Finland have been granted funding, amounting to EUR1,200,000. The company does not seek business profit through the projects.
Funded projects can be related, for example, to nature solutions for the built environment, rehabilitation of aquatic bird habitats and wetlands, watercourses, small waterbodies and the living conditions of pollinators. Completely new applications, for example technical innovations, are also very welcome.
‘Strengthening Finnish nature is a key common goal for everyone. Metsä Group is a significant social actor. With this funding programme, we want to set an example that funds can also be directed from the private sector to activities that strengthen the state of nature,’ said Metsä Group's leading nature expert Timo Lehesvirta.
‘Our nature is our national capital, on which we depend in many ways. The goal of our ten nyear programme is to create a new operating culture and local activities, where nature invites Finns to cooperate instead of different dividing lines.
The selection of the projects is conducted by an independent expert jury, with representatives from the University of Eastern Finland, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.
‘The diversity of nature is crucial for the health, wellbeing and economy of Finnish people. Companies are also dependent on ecosystem services provided by nature, either directly or through subcontracting chains. Biodiversity can be strengthened, for example, by restoring valuable, degraded natural sites. When we protect diversity, we also protect business conditions and manage risks. The contribution of all actors is needed, and companies can be pioneers,’ said Tatu Torniainen, Sitra's leading expert, Doctor of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, among the board members.
This year, the ten year funding programme has been allocated EUR600,000. The aim is to create a diverse set of cooperation projects over the years, in which best practices and the lessons learned are shared between the different operators to develop operations. The insights from these projects are shared in an annual event aimed at the project managers which also provides an opportunity for networking.
More information can be found from programme's website.