From: Ashley Hobbs, MONGABAY.COM, More from this Affiliate
Published December 15, 2010 08:25 AM

Finland forest protected: 80,000 hectares of green cover rescued from industrial logging

In a significant win for environmental activists, 80,000 hectares of forests in Finland have been won protection under a landmark deal.


Metsahallitus, a forest enterprise controlled by the Finnish government, have agreed to preserve 80 percent of 107,000 hectares of pine forests in northern Finland. The area, which serves as a grazing land for the reindeer, includes tracts of old growth forest.

The decision comes after an 8-year battle by Greenpeace and Finland's indigenous Saami reindeer herders.

Greenpeace applauded the move.

"Greenpeace, reindeer herders and Saami organizations carried out a historical joint campaign, and industrial logging has now been pushed out of the most important forest areas in Finland," said Matti Liimatainen Greenpeace Nordic forest campaigner. “Reindeer herding is an important employer in the Saami's homeland. Protecting the forests not only helps the Saami protect their livelihood, but also prevents the loss of biodiversity and animals, insects and fungi that have disappeared with other European forest ecosystems."

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