Return of Rural Wetlands - Return of Rural Wetlands: Local participation and innovative methods for cost-effective large-scale wetland restoration

LIFE09 NAT/FI/000563

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Mikko ALHAINEN
Tel: +358 294312401
Fax: +358 9 2727 8130
Email: mikko.alhainen@riista.fi

Project description:


Diverse and rich open water wetlands are a characteristic of Finland’s natural environment. They contain ecosystems of international importance that support a variety of species. Finnish wetlands provide core breeding areas for many migratory bird species, especially waterfowl, and therefore they are of key importance for the European avifauna and waterfowl populations.

During the last century an estimated 4 000 lakes and an estimated 5.7 million hectares of wetlands have been lost due to drainage for agriculture and forestry in Finland. Countless small wetlands and moist forest habitat patches in forests have also been lost. As a result, ecological connections between wetlands have broken down and species can no longer move from one area to another, accelerating the loss of biodiversity.


The main objective of this LIFE+ Biodiversity project is to create a framework for a future nationwide programme for wildlife habitat conservation, restoration and recreation that will operate at the local level, drawing on the strong Finnish tradition for volunteering.

The project aims to create a network of demonstrative open water wetland sites at regional level, using the new type of participatory conservation involving public bodies, NGOs and local landowners and associations.

The project is linked to Finland’s National Biodiversity Strategy for 2006-2016 and to the Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland 2008-2016.

Expected results:

  • At least one demonstration wetland restoration or re-creation site in each of 15 game management districts, with a total surface area of greater than 200 ha.
  • Significant increase of waterfowl breeding pairs and broods in the demonstration sites;
  • Increased motivation, skills and cooperation of local people and regional authorities for wetland conservation, restoration and re-creation

  • Results


Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Bogs and Mires


environmental awareness‚  rural area‚  wetland‚  restoration measure‚  recreational area

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Target species

 Anas acuta   Anas clypeata   Anas crecca   Anas penelope   Anas platyrhynchos   Bucephala clangula 

Target Habitat types

  • 02 - Specific (i.e.for technical reasons or specific issue)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Suomen Riistakeskus
Type of organisation Professional organisation
Description The tasks of the Metsästäjäin Keskusjärjestö (MKJ, Hunters’ Central Organisation) is: develop hunting and game management and to carry out game management experiments; promote training and advisory services concerning hunting and game management; direct and supervise the activities of Game Management Districts.
Partners Metsästäjäin Keskusjärjestö (Hunters’ Central Organisation), Finland


Project reference LIFE09 NAT/FI/000563
Duration 01-SEP-2010 to 31-DEC -2015
Total budget 2,061,310.00 €
EU contribution 1,028,905.00 €
Project location Uusimaa(Finland Suomi) Varsinais-Suomi(Finland Suomi) Satakunta(Finland Suomi) Häme(Finland Suomi) Pirkanmaa(Finland Suomi) Päijät-Häme(Finland Suomi) Kymenlaakso(Finland Suomi) Etelä-Karjala(Finland Suomi) Etelä-Savo(Finland Suomi) Pohjois-Savo(Finland Suomi) Pohjois-Karjala(Finland Suomi) Kainuu(Finland Suomi) Keski-Suomi(Finland Suomi) Etelä-Pohjanmaa(Finland Suomi) Vaasan rannikkoseutu(Finland Suomi) Keski-Pohjanmaa(Finland Suomi) Pohjois-Pohjanmaa(Finland Suomi) Lappi(Finland Suomi) Ahvenanmaa/Åland(Finland Suomi) Baltic Sea Suomi (SF)(Finland Suomi)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version