Investing conservation incentive payments

Your forest may have natural values important for biodiversity, in which case conservation can be an economically viable option.

Investing the compensation received from conservation according to your goals is important, as you thus ensure future returns on your capital. When paid as a lump sum, the compensation for conservation can be significant.

Voluntary forest conservation

The voluntary forest biodiversity conservation programme METSO is a joint project by the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, with the goal of stopping the decline in forest biotopes and species.

The METSO programme is suitable for private forest owners interested in conservation whose forest contains suitable habitats for permanent or temporary conservation. Forest owners can also sell their forest to the state for conversion to a nature reserve. In the METSO programme, the state pays forest owners compensation for conservation and habitat management in accordance with the programme. As such, it is also suitable for forest owners who want to protect forest biodiversity, but who also have financial interests in their forest property.

How much could I get paid for conserving my forest?

In a temporary conservation agreement, only part of the protected forest’s log value is compensated. The compensation for conservation for a fixed term of 10 years is typically up to one third of the log value of the tree stand. The compensation is based on the conserved forest’s log value, which in turn depends on local stumpage prices, the primary tree species, the volume of the tree stand and the logging potential. For more information, visit the website of the METSO programme.

Suitable habitats for inclusion in the METSO programme

In general, to be suitable for conservation, the forest should differ significantly from a commercial forest. The forest should have trees of different ages, with no signs of recent logging. As a rule, the forest should have trees more than 100 years old and plenty of decaying wood.

Valuable habitats suitable for the METSO programme include:

  • extensive, old-growth heathland forests
  • herb-rich forests
  • wooded and lush mires
  • flood plain forests
  • sunlit habitats
  • habitats around small bodies of water such as streams and springs

By investing your conservation compensation, you strengthen your future finances

Your investment can yield interest income, dividends or an increase in value, depending on the type of investment. Investing ensures a return on your capital – in this case, the compensation received from conservation. Investing also protects your capital against a decline in purchasing power due to inflation. Diversifying your investments helps manage risks.

OP offers investment products that are suitable for your goals and needs. Available investments differ in terms of yield and volatility or risk, among other factors.

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Our investment specialists at OP cooperative banks can help you select from different investment products.

Investing always involves risk. The value of investments can rise and fall, and an investor can lose part of or all the invested money or never receive the expected return. OP mutual funds are managed by OP Fund Management Company Ltd. Investment services are provided by OP cooperative banks. 

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