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Zonation in Finland

Zonation software supports more sustainable decision-making in conservation and land-use planning in Finland


Zonation is a spatial conservation prioritization software developed by Atte Moilanen and his research group at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Zonation reveals most valuable sites for expanding protected area networks. Other uses include conservation area network evaluation, targeting restoration measures and finding areas where the negative impacts of land-use on biodiversity may be minimized.

In Finland, Zonation analyses have been utilized in several national-scale conservation projects during the last ten years. As part of the Forest Biodiversity Programme METSO 2008–2025 conservation area network has been expanded twice in state-owned forests where use of Zonation has had an important role for the final decisions. Analyses have also been developed 3 times (years 2012, 2016 and 2018) to support voluntary-based establishment of forest conservation areas and pro-biodiversity forest management plans in privately-owned areas during. In 2014–2015, Zonation results serve in developing a supplementary mire conservation programme.

Also forest owner benefits from Zonation analyses: the results are used to inform land owners about sites that might be suitable for voluntary protection as part of METSO programme.

The development of Zonation analyses to support national and regional conservation and land use planning takes place by a broad-based project financed mainly by the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Participants include Metsähallitus, Finnish Environment Institute, Finnish Forest Centre, Tapio, The Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä.

More information:

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Team Zonators from project "Ecological decision analysis in support of societal decision making". From left to right: Vasemmalta oikealle: Marja Hokkanen (Metsähallitus), Santtu Kareksela (Metsähallitus), Atte Moilanen (University of Helsinki), Niko Leikola (Finnish Environment institute SYKE) and Ninni Mikkonen (Finnish Environment institute SYKE). Picture: Ninni Mikkonen
Published 2018-06-08 at 13:06, updated 2018-10-18 at 11:40
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