An inspiring new video shows the value of Finland’s beautiful Ruka-Kuusamo region where wood is no longer seen as the only source of income from the forests there.
From Autumn 2020, visitors of Ruka-Kuusamo area have the possibility to contribute to preserving the region’s beautiful landscapes and biodiversity through the new Landscape and Recreation Value Trade initiative. Kuusamo forests provide multiple benefits for both locals and visitors, such as attractive environments for recreation and mental restoration, picking berries and mushrooms, and breathing clean air. The region’s economy is also rooted in forests that act as a source of income for forest owners and entrepreneurs within forestry and tourism.
The Landscape and Recreation Value Trade initiative, established as part of the SINCERE Innovation Action case study in Kuusamo, supports forest owners to highlight these benefits and preserve landscapes and biodiversity in their forests, with the scheme providing compensation for the resulting loss of income from timber sales. The model has been developed within the SINCERE project as one of the eleven Innovation Action case studies which develop new practices for preserving landscape, recreational and nature values of forests across Europe and further afield.
The model is based on previous scientific studies regarding payments for ecosystem services models and research on attitudes and opinions of tourists, tourism firms and forest owners towards voluntary nature preservations actions. A successful implementation of the model engages different stakeholders to work together for safeguarding Kuusamo’s nature values in a new way.
The Landscape and Recreation Value Trade initiative has been developed in Kuusamo by the Ruka-Kuusamo Tourist Association along with the Natural Resources Institute Finland, Finnish Forest Centre and local stakeholders.