Ecosystem services of boreal mires and peatlands in Finland

Mire ecosystems are well-known for their unique species and habitats of high conservation value. Mires and peatlands also provide a range of benefits to our societies and economies. For example, peatlands are a source of important natural resources such as timber, berries, game and peat for fuel. In addition, mire and peatland ecosystems form important carbon storage and they also play an important role in regulating climate and the circulation and quality of water. Pristine mires provide also opportunities for recreation and tourism. Given the range of different values and services, it is not surprising that mire and peatland ecosystems face conflicting demands for their use.

This publication outlines the results of a pioneering project that aimed to identify and valuate ecosystem services provided by pristine mires and managed peatlands in Finland. The work was based on a case study carried out in the North Karelia Biosphere Reserve in Eastern Finland. Regional expert and stakeholder workshop and local stakeholder interviews were used to identify ecosystem services and possible conflicts and synergies between them as well as to evaluate the socio-economic importance of the benefits. Finally, a range of policy recommendations were developed to integrate ecosystem services as a part of national policies for peatland management.

The project was financed by the Finnish Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry and carried out in cooperation with Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Pellervo Economic Research, University of Eastern Finland, North Karelia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Forestry Development Centre Tapio, and University of Helsinki.

Please note that the final report is written in Finnish, and the extended abstract and poster are in English.

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