UPM is partnering with BirdLife as part of its global biodiversity programme.
“UPM co-operates with expert networks locally and internationally. BirdLife is a global organisation that is uniting a comprehensive network of environmental organisations and experts. We are carrying out dozens of local projects with BirdLife, especially in regions where UPM is operating as a landowner or procuring wood,” explains Timo Lehesvirta, Director of Stakeholder Relations, UPM Forest Global.
In 2013, UPM started a Chestnut Seedeater (Sporophila cinnamomea) conservation project in co-operation with the NGO Aves Uruguay to increase the grassland bird population. The bird requires tall grasslands for nesting and feeding but local farmers also use these grasslands for cattle grazing.
In 2012, some grassland areas were already excluded from cattle grazing with the help of Aves Uruguay experts. Recent findings indicate that the strategy has been successful as both male and female Chestnut Seedeaters have been spotted for the first time. The next stage of the project is to expand the conservation area.
In Finland, BirdLife renovated an old tower for bird watching in a 200-hectare protected area in Toivanjoki, Janakkala. Three quarters of the conservation area is on UPM property. The Toivanjoki area is part of the EU’s Natura 2000 network of protected areas and is an important feeding and resting area for migrating birds.
In the UK, UPM Tilhill has carried out an experimental project to restore 114 hectares of rough grazing and hill ground to native forest in Scotland. The fenced area helps wildlife such as the black grouse (Lyrurus tetrix), which has suffered serious habitat loss. Altogether, some 410,000 trees were planted over the last two years in this region.