Get inspired by the diverse range of successful projects submitted to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) action portal!
Together with a variety organizations and financiers, including the EU and all Barents countries, the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten is working in several projects to benefit freshwater biodiversity:
ReBorN LIFE is restoring over 200 km of streams modified for timber floating to regain ecological functions and enhance the status of Natura 2000 habitats and species.
EXPERT is a Kolarctic project producing educational materials for excavator operators on how to preform environmental work in streams and wetlands.
LIFE Revives will improve habitats of the freshwater pearl mussel and enhance reproduction.
The Kolarctic project SALMUS increases knowledge about the freshwater pearl mussel and contributes to enhancing its habitats.
The Kolarctic project ReArc restores hydrological functions in watercourses.
The Interreg North project EMRA creates a common knowledge base on physical measures targeting hydropower and timber floating issues affecting river systems in Finland and Sweden.
Launched in 2020, the aim of the BARIMS project is to enhance regional co-operation in the light of sustainable development and the need to safeguard biodiversity in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region. Pilot areas for assessing the distribution of biodiversity will be studied in the member regions of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) and means for safeguarding nature values and ecosystem functions as a part of mitigation of and adaptation to climate change will discussed.
Existing information will be compiled and new data sources will be identified from the pilot areas consisting of terrestrial, freshwater and marine data. Statistical modeling will be used to predict current and future distribution of biodiversity in a changing climate. Workshops and seminars will be organized to evaluate the usage of compiled information, e.g. for land use planning needs and to identify new data needs.
There are several vital problems in the field of water supply and treatment in the town of Sortavala and the project aimes to solve them. The project activities in the field of water supply and sanitation should significantly improve the ecological situation in the city of Sortavala, and therefore, improve the quality of life of residents and visitors. The proximity of the border with the European Union and the possibility of attraction of visitors to the territory of Sortavala district are creating new opportunities for the development of international tourism in the Northern Ladoga area. (Con't)
In the project, we will monitor the state of the Koitajoki and Tohmajoki rivers for two years and strive to find factors that load water bodies. Based on the results, we make recommendations for future land use in river areas. The project prepares permit applications and land use plans to divert wastewater from the Helylä agglomeration (Sortavala region, Russia) to the Sortavala water treatment plant. In addition, Finnish and Russian water legislation are compared from the perspective of similar projects.
It is well known that the most of the territory of Karelia is swamped - surface waters, especially small lakes and rivers are polluted by wetland humus (natural organic compounds). Small border village of Kaalamo (Sortavala region) is located also in a swampy area and discharging wastewater on terrain, so this settlement is in conditions typical for border regions of Karelia and Finland in this respect. First of all, the low quality of centralized water supply in the village is caused by low quality of natural water at the source - the Tohmajoki river. The purification of such water for drinking purpose is quite complicated – it requires multi-stage expensive technology based on physical and chemical processes. Unfortunately this technology can’t guarantee a consistently high quality of drinking water supplied to consumers because the degree of pollution of natural water depends on weather conditions and is not stable over the seasons.
In Freshabit LIFE IP project we are constructing fish passes, reviving the freshwater pearl mussel population, and restoring streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and peatlands. Also, we are producing fresh data and tools. Our work is improving the state of inland waters and the diverse forms of nature that are dependent on them. Various restorations take place in eight target areas, of which two are in the Barents area: Naamijoki and Koitajoki.
In Naamijoki area Teuraoja and Kivijärvenoja will be restored by partial filling of the riverbed and by making a series of wetlands. In addition, emissions from private forestry areas in the river Naamijoki are being controlled by building water protection structures.
In the Koitajoki river, the spawning and fingerling areas of the extremely endangered landlocked salmon have been restored. Drainage area restorations and restoration of peatlands are also carried out.
A significant 60% of the project budget is provided by the LIFE programme of the EU.
A wetland (1,25 hectares) is constructed on a private land in Issakka, Ilomantsi, within the watershed of Ilomantsijärvi and more broadly the watershed of Koitajoki. Simultaneously, a spring fen and a brook are restored in the area. These actions will reduce the amount of suspended solids and nutrient load into the lake below. Regardless of the rather small size, the wetland may have watershed up to 148 hectares. The wetland, when ready, will also provide a resting and feeding ground to birds and thus, together with surrounding newly protected forest area (2 hectares), it will help in enhancing the biodiversity in the area. The local village community has been heard in the process and infrastructure for leisure activities of locals and visitors (e.g., paths, bird watching site and fireplace) will be built surrounding the wetland. The project and its results has already increased, and will continue to support the community spirits of Maukkula, Paavonvaara and Issakka villages.
Boreal forests of the Barents Region stretch through Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, who are all Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Under the CBD, Aichi Biodiversity Targets expired in 2020. This project takes stock of the progress made to achieve Aichi Target 11 on protected areas (17% of the terrestrial and inland water areas conserved by 2020) in the boreal forest zone of the Barents Region. As the biodiversity needs to be protected also outside protected areas, this project launches a dialogue with the forestry sector in the Barents Region and seeks to establish common ground to mainstream biodiversity in the forestry sector. It is also very important to ensure a working green infrastructure so as to preserve the ecological linkages in the landscape. Deliverables of this project will serve to develop further cooperation on forest biodiversity protection within the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) and the Barents Region as whole.
To maintain and improve the environmental condition in the catchment areas of Pasvik and Grense Jakobselv rivers, a joint multi-use plan including a programme of measures (PoM) has been developed for the years 2021-2030. The aim is to sustain and improve the environmental status of the border river catchments between Norway, Russia, and Finland. Norwegian, Russian, and Finnish environmental authorities join efforts for the border rivers Pasvik and Grense Jakobselv-Vuorema and collaborate to implement various measures together with other authorities and stakeholders. The measures will reduce the environmental impact of human activity.
Snowchange executes the Landscape Rewilding Programme in Finland and Russia to restore and protect peatlands, rivers, forests, Sámi home cultural areas and lakes. All in all, in November 2021 there were 31,000 hectares under rewilding.
Another initiative of the Snowchage Cooperarive is Biodiversa Project which examines effective nature conservation and climate change mitigation led by local communities between 2022 and 2024. This is done by looking at restoration, rewilding, biodiversity, greenhouse gas flux (G and carbon storage of Swedish and Finnish inland waters, wetlands and adjacent meadows and forests.
Different sectors of society (e.g. local communities, including Saami people, academics and administrative actors) are included in order to examine success of these locally led restoration projects by bringing together social (oral histories, narratives, values) and ecological (GHG, biodiversity measurements) methods.
Project activities are held in several Barents Regions, including Finnish Lapland (Näätämö Skolt Sámi area) and North Karelia in Eastern Finland (Koitajoki river basin). Geographic area of the project also includes several other regions in Finland and Sweden.
In 2021-22 a Finnish company called Hiilipörssi was restoring large mire, Iso Piitsonsuo, located in Eastern Finland, municipality of Ilomantsi. About 200 ha of the territory has been restored; one part of peatland area of over 100 ha is to be restored in 2023-24, according to the plans of the company.
Hiilipörssi is a trading platform for ecological reconstruction and ecological preservation, which combines construction of carbon storages, improvement of water conditions and increase of biodiversity into products. Established in 2018, Hiilipörssi is dealing with mire restorations in whole Finland.
TRIWA LIFE is a Swedish-Finnish effort to improve the conditions of riverine ecosystems in the whole international catchment area of River Torne NATURA 2000 site (40 157 km²), the main rivers are among the largest free-flowing rivers of Europe. The overall aim is to improve conservation status for species and habitats of the Habitats Directive and reach good ecological status according to the Water Framework Directive.
TRIWA is a cross-border cooperation between Finland and Sweden with nine different partners:
County Administrative Board of Norrbotten
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Lapland (ELY)
Finnish Forest Centre (Metsäkeskus)
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
University of Oulu
Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management
Luleå University of Technology
TRIWA has a total budget of 21,4 million Euro and EU's LIFE fund is contributing with 60%. The project time is 2023-03-01 – 2030-02-28 (7 years).