The BPAN project has analyzed and evaluated protected area network in the Barents Region and produced unified information across the borders. These results and recommendations and their utilization in nature conservation planning in Finland were discussed in a stakeholder workshop on 21–22 May in Liminka Bay Visitor Centre, Liminganlahti, Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland. BPAN project was presented as such and as a part of Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) cooperation. Presentations included the final results of classification of the protected areas, level of protection in the protected areas, analysis of representativeness, and evaluation of the protected area network using Programme of Work on Protected Areas. Report on characteristics and representativeness of the protected area network in the Barents Region will be published in 2014.
Discussion concerned the recommendations for strengthening the protected area network in the Barents Region produced in BPAN and their utilization regarding Finland. The seminar was organized by the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE and Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Services. The participants of the seminar represented regional and national nature conservation authorities, NGO Finnish Nature League, region of Northern Ostrobothnia and Suomussalmi municipality. Participants had also an opportunity to visit nearby bird-watching tower and the Liminka Bay Visitor Centre exhibition “Eight Seasons of Birds”.
Liminka Bay is privately owned protected area. It is an internationally important bird area (IBA) and one of Finland’s 49 Ramsar wetland sites. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands obligates the states involved to promote the protection of wetlands and waterfowl. There are several bird-watching towers, duckboard trails and structures for the use of visitors, such as campfire sites, by Liminka Bay.
Presentations (in Finnish):
BPAN-hankkeen esittely ja suositukset – Anna Kuhmonen
Barentsin alueen suojelualueiden arviointi käyttäen suojelualuetyöohjelmaa työkaluna – Sanna-Kaisa Juvonen
Ajatuksia Pohjanmaan luonnonsuojelualueverkon kehittämisestä – Päivi Virnes
Protected areas classified according to strength of protection