Biodiversity at the core of the new bioeconomy

Timo Lehesvirta
Timo Lehesvirta
Director, Forest Global UPM
3 July 2015
Biodiversiteetti uuden biotalouden ytimessä

I was very excited to hear that Finland will be hosting the next international Business & Biodiversity Forum organised under the United Nations. From 11th to 12th November 2015, corporate biodiversity experts from all over the world will convene in Helsinki, Finland, for this forum which will exchange information on the companies’ latest practices to maintain biodiversity.

Does Finland have innovations to offer to an international forum seeking examples of the role of biodiversity in the developing bioeconomy? Yes, indeed! You will see one of these innovations when landing at Helsinki Airport: there is forest everywhere! The trees grown for the needs of forest industry belong to a native species which spread to Finland after the last ice age. They may grow in their original habitat, in interaction with other native forest species. In other words, considerable industrial raw material production without a need to change the land use. This innovation is worth taking up also in today’s discussions on biodiversity and ecosystem services. No matter that this kind of land use has more than 100 years’ traditions!

The biological diversity of Finnish nature may be the best-known in the world. Research on biodiversity is on high level and sharing the interest between various groups of species is trendy. Combining ecological information with detailed data on forest inventory offers us a unique opportunity to understand our forest nature. We need to turn this kind of information into a competitive advantage in the natural resource economy.

We are very proud of the opportunity offered by the Business & Biodiversity Forum organisers to present UPM’s biodiversity-related business solutions at the event. Maintaining biodiversity is a key responsibility target for UPM, and we have been following through our own biodiversity programme in co-operation with our stakeholders for the last 20 years. We are eagerly looking forward to this opportunity to share our practical examples with the participants. The other, equally important aspect for us is having the chance to network with all the bodies attending the event.

There is a lot of wisdom with regard preserving the biological diversity. The nature as such, thanks to its beauty and uniqueness, has its value. And we are entirely dependent on it. The better we know the nature and the better we can take care of it, the greater will our success be in the new, developing bioeconomy.

See you in Finland in November 2015!
The blog post has been originally published on FIBS’s newsroom.

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