Landscape and Recreation Value Trade

Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE)

A payment for ecosystem services system, the Landscape and Recreation Value Trade, is proposed, in which forest owners would be compensated for voluntarily enhancing the provision of landscape and recreational values in their own forests. The funds for the mechanism may be collected from visitors and/or tourism entrepreneurs using the area. The funding may also be gathered from a group of actors from both the public and the private sector in a way that works best locally.

Our aim is to develop a model for piloting this payment for ecosystem services mechanism in the Ruka-Kuusamo tourism area in Finland. This innovation case will aim to support the provision of landscape and recreation values in Ruka-Kuusamo private forests by identifying valuable forest stands/areas (hotspots) for tourism use and by developing and piloting a payment for ecosystem services mechanism through which private forests owners receive income from safeguarding and enhancing the landscape and recreational values of their forests.

The aim is to improve the environmental quality of private forests for tourism and recreational use in Ruka-Kuusamo to safeguard and support the growth of nature-based tourism in the area. The aim is also to demonstrate a cost-efficient way of producing multiple-use benefits for different users from forests on private lands, while also meeting landowners’ own objectives.

The SINCERE project will provide support with developing a model with the local stakeholders and offers the possibility of testing its functioning in a real life situation. The international expert group will help provide new ideas of how to develop an applicable model and will exchange ideas about similar approaches tested elsewhere.

The key stakeholders in this innovation case are private and public forest owners in the region, the Kuusamo forest management association, regional nature-based tourism entrepreneurs, the Ruka-Kuusamo tourism association and Kuusamo municipality. Other actors, businesses and interest groups will also be involved, such as the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners, the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation and its local member association Kuusamo Nature, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises in the forest, transport and retail sectors.

Liisa Tyrväinen