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Nature and culture

Green Belt is a string of nature pearls surrounding the border of Finland, Norway and Russia.

The over 1000 km long belt is a cross-section of boreal forest extending from the Baltic to the Barents Sea. Near the borders of the three countries there have been remained

  • pristine, old-growth boreal forests

  • valuable wetlands, mires and bird habitats

  • lakes and rivers.

Green Belt of Fennoscandia is where eastern taiga and western habitats meet.

Big bear in Elimyssalo
© Photo: Ari Meriruoko/Image bank of the Environmental Administration

Core of an ecological corridor

Chain of the protected areas functions also as an ecological corridor ribboning the Green Belt of Fennoscandia from south to north. It supports the west-east corridors which cross the border between Finland and Russia.

Well connected network of protected areas have a special role in supporting populations in adapting to habitat fragmentation and climate change.

Biodiversity generates culture and vitality

© Photo: Pentti Sormunen/Image bank of the Environmental Administration

Cultural heritage is strongly intertwined and connected with the nature of the border region. Historically valuable common cultural heritage shared by the three countries are

  • Karelian villages
  • orthodox religion
  • old tradition of poet singing
  • northern hunting culture and reindeer herding
  • Sámi culture.

The several nature protection areas and their ecosystem services provide with many socio-economic opportunities for the region. Good conditions for nature tourism and related business provide profits for the regional economy and employ local people.

The total income of the national parks and hiking areas in the Finnish side of the Green Belt was around 100 M€ in 2016 (Metsähallitus, 2017).

Published 2016-09-01 at 11:37, updated 2017-03-27 at 18:06
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