October 2014

North Karelia Biosphere Reserve - Pohjois-Karjalan biosfäärialue


Answer a Questionnaire: What Kind of Landscape is Valuable?

Alpo Hassinen Landscape.jpgLandscapes are everywhere. They are simultaneously private and public. Tourist companies in northern Finland have long been conserned about landscape changes. There have been requests for more national parks, and forest areas have even been purchased to prevent them from being cut down near tourist attractions. This concern has reached North Karelia as well.


Regionally and nationally valuable landscape areas are defined in the regional plan. They need to be taken into account in future plans. That way the private and public will be combined.


ENPI KARLANDS project is conducting a study on the landscape values of local residents. Please participate by filling out a questionnaire in English or Finnish. The participation time has been extended till 4 p.m. on Friday 7 Nov. 2014. 

Is this landscape valuable? Photo: Alpo Hassinen


Students on Ice Arctic Expedition is Coming - Would You Participate?


Students on Ice LOGO.PNGA Canadian charitable organization Students on Ice (SOI) organizes every year an educational expedition to the Antarctic or the Arctic for international youths aged 14-18. The organization's mandate is to provide students, educators and scientists from around the world with inspiring educational opportunities in the polar regions, explore solutions to global challenges, inspire participants to make a difference and to help them foster a new understanding and respect for the global environment. The next Arctic expedition is organized on 27 Jul. - 10 Aug. 2015.


According to preliminary information, two youths from Finland have been invited to participate in the forthcoming expedition. One of them will be chosen by the North Karelia Biosphere Reserve. Read more about the expedition!



Paavo Pelkonen Elected Chairman of Karelian Working Group of Green Belt of Fennoscandia

Paavo_Pelkonen_Kajaani.jpgThe organizational meeting of the Karelian working group of the Green Belt of Fennoscandia took place in Kajaani on 7 Oct. 2014. Emeritus professor Paavo Pelkonen was expectedly elected as the chairman. The steering group of the North Karelia Biosphere Reserve supported him for the position.

gruppa_Kajana.jpgPelkonen is known for his commendable career as a forestry researcher and teacher as well as in diverse administrative duties  such as the Rector of the University of Eastern Finland.


The regional working group brings together both governmental and non-governmental organisations in the border areas in North Karelia, Kainuu and North Ostrobothnia. Volunteer organizations in particular are encouraged to join the group by the vice chair Riitta Nykänen.


North Karelia Biosphere Reserve has participated in the development of the Green Belt of Fennoscandia since 1993.


Read a presentation of the Green Belt of Fennoscandia (in Finnish) by the project coordinator Aino Rekola, Ministry of the Environment.


Read a press release of the organizational meeting (in Finnish).



Participate in the Green Belt of Fennoscandia Dialogue Forum

ahma_eeraeero.jpgFinnish, Russian and Norwegian stakeholders of the Green Belt of Fennoscandia will come together for the first time in the Green Belt of Fennoscandia Dialogue Forum in Kuusamo on 18-20 Nov. 2014. The Forum will evaluate the achievements of the transboundary cooperation and discuss the objectives until 2020. See the programme and register!

Photo: www.eraeero.com

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Have You Tried Geocaching Yet?


kartta2.jpgGeocaching is modern-day treasure hunting that is a suitable hobby for the whole family. Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity in which participants use a GPS receiver or a mobile device to seek containers ("caches") hidden by other users. There are already 30 000 caches in Finland and 2,5 million in the world. In the beginning registration is required at Geocaching.com to see the coordinates of the caches and to be able to log your own findings. 


North Karelia Biosphere Reserve is preparing to create its own geocaches and an EarthCache. An EarthCache is a special geological location people can visit to learn about a unique feature of the Earth. Visitors to EarthCaches can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage its resources and how scientists gather evidence. Finding an EarthCache typically requires visiting the place and providing answers to questions by observing the geological location. Creating geocaches and an EarthCache is a fitting way to inform tourists, students and locals of the unique nature and sustainable development in the Biosphere Reserve.

Map: Nokia Here



New EU Legislation Against Invasive Alien Species Effective 1 Jan. 2015

palsami.jpgThe European Council has approved a new Regulation to mitigate the impact of invasive alien species on biodiversity, society and economy, and to prevent the spread of new alien species into the EU. The Regulation will enter into force from 1 Jan. 2015.


Along with habitat destruction, invasive alien species are considered the most serious threat to biodiversity worldwide. They can change entire habitats, spread disease and cause enourmous enonomic harm. The most harmful alien species in Finland are Persian Hogweed, Japanese Rose (Rosa Rugosa), Crayfish plague, Spanish slug, American mink, and dangerous plant destroyers. 


The management and prevention of invasive alien species cannot be achieved without the help of the public. Please report your observations of invasive alien species in the Alien Species Portal (in Finnish only).


Download Finland's National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species published in 2012 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.




Communication Platform Eases Exchange of Information in Encore Alliances


platform.jpgAn online communication platform is being developed to facilitate the exchange of information in Encore Alliances. The platform will enable real-time communication between Encore regions as well as the research and exchange of best (and worst) practices.

The platform is being developed by Bavaria. All Encore regions will be able to participate and each leading region will be in charge of their own section on the platform. The platform and all the information will be public and can be utilized by anyone. 




New National Landscape Conservation Area in Totkunniemi in Kitee


Totkunniemi.jpgTotkunniemi village association is applying for a national landscape conservation area status for the nationally valuable landscape in Totkunniemi village. The villagers wish to voluntarily protect and restore the landscape they value and call home.


A working group will be formed for the project with representatives from the village, municipality, Regional Council, Finnish Forest Centre, forest management association, MTK, ProAgria, and the Centre for the Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Karelia. A landscape management plan will be prepared over the winter afterwhich the Ministry of the Environment will decide on the establishment of the conservation area. 



Totkunniemi_kuva3.jpgSo far only three national landscape conservation areas have been established in Finland: Skärlandet in Raasepori, Hyypänjokilaakso in Kauhajoki, and Kairala-Luiro in Pelkosenniemi. Preparations for a fourth area are under way in Simo.

North Karelia Biosphere Reserve congratulates Totkunniemi village association for their proactive action! 

Map: Google Maps   Photo: Maakaista.fi/Sirpa Suomalainen


Wolves Restored the Ecosystem in Yellowstone?

Kuvakaappaus Susi-videosta.PNG

See an inspiring video of the famous wolves in Yellowstone National Park. The reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone in 1995 after decades of their absence helped to restore the ecosystem that was suffering from overgrazing. The wolves keep the elk population at bay and thus enable the ecosystem to flourish again. Forests have recovered and animal populations increased.

Photo: Screenshot of the video How Wolves Change Rivers



 Upcoming Events 


18.-20.11.2014 Green Belt of Fennoscandia Dialogue Forum, Kuusamo, Finland


20.-23.5.2015 EuroMAB Network Meeting, Estonia 



Other Issues Concerning the Biosphere Reserve

What's a Biosphere Reserve?

North Karelia Biosphere Reserve Network and Its Benefits

Man and the Biosphere Programme

Biosphere Reserve Steering Committee



Biosphere Reserve Projects

Join the Network!