Helsinki to Tweak its Forestry Policies

Published on: 02 July 2022
by KnowESG

The policies that guide the management of urban forests in Helsinki will be amended this year. The new policies will adhere to the City Strategy and its objectives for preserving natural habitats. In the autumn, residents and stakeholders will be invited to discuss it.

The City of Helsinki has begun updating its regulations for managing natural areas. The current Nature Maintenance Policy dates back to 2011.

It outlines the city of Helsinki's green space management concepts, methodologies, and major measures.

The policy will be revised to conform more closely to the existing City Strategy and its objectives. One of the primary aims of the strategy is to expand the intended diversity of forested areas. Another goal is for forests to age organically. In addition, the new rules will prepare for climate change and the capacity of forests to adapt to a rising city.

The updates are based on the Biodiversity Action Plan (LUMO) of Helsinki, its aims for enhancing biodiversity, and a wide variety of other reviews about nature and the environment. The modifications will be implemented in two phases. During the first phase in 2022, the focus will be on forested areas, while during the second phase in 2023, open landscapes such as meadows and fields will receive policy modifications. The Nature Maintenance Policy does not apply to nature reserves.

Green spaces and biodiversity are vital to the citizens of Helsinki and the city itself, which is why it wishes to hear as many opinions from residents and stakeholders as possible. In September, public events will be held about this. The Kerrokantasi service will provide locals with the opportunity to comment on the forest maintenance policy later in the autumn. The City will also have joint talks with environmental organisations and operators in the autumn.

A seminar will be conducted on September 8 to explore the management of natural areas from as many perspectives as possible, including topics such as biodiversity, the current condition of Helsinki's forests, and the effect of urbanisation on forest management.

The conference will present the most recent scientific discoveries regarding urban forests and their management. In addition, on September 21, a workshop will be held to go deeper into the topics addressed during the seminar. These events' timings, dates, and subjects will be announced in August.

The first section of the Nature Maintenance Policy addressing forested areas will be presented to the Urban Environment Committee by the end of the year. The policies will be developed by the Urban Environment Division of Helsinki in conjunction with the consulting firm Sitowise.

Forests in Helsinki will undergo a limited number of actions while new policies are being developed. The City should safeguard the safety of visitors to forested areas by removing hazardous trees and implementing safety-enhancing measures at the edges of plots of land and along pathways.

Source: Helsinki City, Department of Urban Environment

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