Habitat management

The Finnish Game Foundation is developing new ways of channelling voluntary funding for game habitat management measures where funding is a bottleneck.

In the forestry sector, new ways are being sought to channel voluntary funding for the envirorent management of forests, restoration of peatlands and conservation of forest habitats.

The wildlife management strategy focuses on voluntary measures by landowners, especially in production forests, by coordinating economic use and nature management measures in the same areas. It should be noted that many species are still in decline. New ways are therefore needed to maintain and increase forest biodiversity not only in protected areas but also in production forests.

For the populations of many game species, it is important to manage small-scale habitats such as nesting and breeding habitats, bog/dryland transition zones and marsh habitats.

On a wider scale, restoration of drainage swamps (where timber production is not economically viable) to habitats such as willow grouse and bean goose, and management and restoration of important wetland nesting and resting areas would improve the situation of declining species. Restoration of bogs that cannot be drained would also increase their carbon sinks, thus mitigating climate change. Some game species are also affected by climate change.

These valuable habitats maintain biodiversity and produce game for a wider area. Important waterfowl resting areas can provide important habitats for large numbers of birds on their migratory journey, and also for breeding populations outside our borders. These may not be present on all forest owners’ land. As society changes, new voluntary funding mechanisms are needed. As with the establishment of the Game Management Foundation in the 1940s, there may be a willingness to donate today, for example among hunters who would like to support the management of game sites over a wider area but do not necessarily have them on their own land.

The key is to channel resources effectively from willing voluntary financial donors, such as individuals, companies and other actors, to landowner groups for practical measures in forests, peatlands and wetlands. For areas that maintain biodiversity and provide game cover for wider areas.

The Finnish Game Management Foundation has launched a project to develop voluntary funding for game and nature management in Finland.

According to its statutes, the Finnish Game Management Foundation can provide grants and project funding for example to promote game management measures by landowners and hunting clubs and the management of game habitats. The Foundation will also be able to promote game management through contractual arrangements, whereby it can enter into agreements on the use of the areas for which it provides grants or project funding. In this way, the Foundation’s activities return to its roots in promoting practical game management.

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