European Rewilding Network

Jukajoki Restoration Project

This heavily damaged catchment area in boreal Finland, North Karelia is home to a state-of-the-art ecological restoration, using traditional knowledge and latest science, and includes the internationally recognized wetland and bird habitat of Linnunsuo. Here, water is allowed to flow in a most natural way once again, and nature based activities like bird watching are undertaken. The community-based and driven management is key in the restoration process.

Project: Jukajoki Restoration Project
Region: North Karelia, Finland
Type of protection: One Natura 2000 site
Habitat types: Marshmires, middle boreal forests, boreal catchment area
Keystone species: Terek sandpiper, Northern pintail, Common greenshank, Wood sandpiper, Ruff, Eurasian teal, Goldeneye
Fauna (mega) species present: Brown bear, Wolverine, Moose, Lynx, Wolf, Otter
Type of project: Large-scale rehabilitations of natural processes, including herbivores, carnivores and/or scavengers being present, Methods and experiences to allow natural numbers and densities of native, wild or rewilded species, Other, Pilot projects focusing on supporting key wildlife species being present in more natural densities, showing their role in the ecosystem, Projects based on a stewardship anchored in respect for land, water, and all living things, with a management striving to support natural processes and utilize nature’s own mechanism, Projects creating local pride and common ownership and responsibility for wild nature amongst land owners, communities and resource users, leading to new alternative uses, Successful agreements with forestry entities about changing forestry practises into more nature-based management systems, Successful agreements with hunting entities about sustainable hunting and the development of wildlife watching tourism, in order to bring back wildlife in natural numbers, Successful agreements with sea or freshwater fisheries and/or managers about sustainable fishing and the development of sustainable tourism, in order to bring back wildlife in natural numbers, Successful agreements with water management entities about changing water management methods to allow for natural processes
Aim and vision: Full restoration of Jukajoki basin by 2025 with the re-introduction of brook trout as a spawning species on the river and full co-management system for the basin.
A new style of community led ecological restoration that corrects the damages done to the boreal ecosystems from 1940s to 1990s in Finland due to man made ditching and draining.
Uniqueness of the project: Jukajoki project is very unique in many ways. It is succeeding in restoring acidic soils basins, uses traditional knowledge with science for restorative measures, and has installed the first co management in Finland - it has no peers at the moment in depth or width or scale.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Recreational activities, Research
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: Return of trout to the river, full co-management, full ecologically stable basin (acidic soils as a problem now), and a network of restored sites across Europe to which we can join.
Results so far: Creation of an internationally relevant bird sanctuary at Linnunsuo, instalment of basin-wide restoration activities, inclusion of traditional knowledge as a first time basin restoration and management scheme.
A lesser form of bird hunting has been successfully and to overall satisfaction agreed upon with hunters, which allows wading species to migrate before limited hunting season starts.

Jukajoki Restoration Project, begun in 2010, has risen in the past six years as a global example of boreal co-management of a basin. It has partners in Australia, Canada, and Saami areas. Recently it was featured in the UNEP 2014 Yearbook as a best practice, and received the Energy Globe 2015 award for a best ecological project. It is a new style of northern boreal ecological restoration where traditional knowledge and science go hand in hand, as featured also in a major US documentary film.
Inspirational value: It is the first time this manner of restoration work has happened in Finland and in the boreal of Eurasia to this extent. Jukajoki and Linnunsuo are models for a new style of ecological restoration throughout those middle and south boreal sites where natural values and ecosystems have collapsed. Lastly, it was the villages and fishermen who accomplished all of this - not a small detail to consider.
Experience you would like to share: Ecological, village-led restoration and activities that have produced extremely relevant results in a short time.
Experience you would like to gain: Learn of challenges and problems as well as solutions to ecological restoration across Europe and the ways local communities have been involved.
Map
Country
Finland
Start year
2010
Size (ha)
9000
Area type
Northern coniferous forest
Natural process
Flooding
Flagship species
Other

This heavily damaged catchment area in boreal Finland, North Karelia is home to a state-of-the-art ecological restoration, using traditional knowledge and latest science, and includes the internationally recognized wetland and bird habitat of Linnunsuo. Here, water is allowed to flow in a most natural way once again, and nature based activities like bird watching are undertaken. The community-based and driven management is key in the restoration process.

Map
Country
Finland
Start year
2010
Size (ha)
9000
Area type
Northern coniferous forest
Natural process
Flooding
Flagship species
Other
Specification
Project: Jukajoki Restoration Project
Region: North Karelia, Finland
Type of protection: One Natura 2000 site
Habitat types: Marshmires, middle boreal forests, boreal catchment area
Keystone species: Terek sandpiper, Northern pintail, Common greenshank, Wood sandpiper, Ruff, Eurasian teal, Goldeneye
Fauna (mega) species present: Brown bear, Wolverine, Moose, Lynx, Wolf, Otter
Description
Type of project: Large-scale rehabilitations of natural processes, including herbivores, carnivores and/or scavengers being present, Methods and experiences to allow natural numbers and densities of native, wild or rewilded species, Other, Pilot projects focusing on supporting key wildlife species being present in more natural densities, showing their role in the ecosystem, Projects based on a stewardship anchored in respect for land, water, and all living things, with a management striving to support natural processes and utilize nature’s own mechanism, Projects creating local pride and common ownership and responsibility for wild nature amongst land owners, communities and resource users, leading to new alternative uses, Successful agreements with forestry entities about changing forestry practises into more nature-based management systems, Successful agreements with hunting entities about sustainable hunting and the development of wildlife watching tourism, in order to bring back wildlife in natural numbers, Successful agreements with sea or freshwater fisheries and/or managers about sustainable fishing and the development of sustainable tourism, in order to bring back wildlife in natural numbers, Successful agreements with water management entities about changing water management methods to allow for natural processes
Aim and vision: Full restoration of Jukajoki basin by 2025 with the re-introduction of brook trout as a spawning species on the river and full co-management system for the basin.
A new style of community led ecological restoration that corrects the damages done to the boreal ecosystems from 1940s to 1990s in Finland due to man made ditching and draining.
Uniqueness of the project: Jukajoki project is very unique in many ways. It is succeeding in restoring acidic soils basins, uses traditional knowledge with science for restorative measures, and has installed the first co management in Finland - it has no peers at the moment in depth or width or scale.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Recreational activities, Research
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: Return of trout to the river, full co-management, full ecologically stable basin (acidic soils as a problem now), and a network of restored sites across Europe to which we can join.
Results so far: Creation of an internationally relevant bird sanctuary at Linnunsuo, instalment of basin-wide restoration activities, inclusion of traditional knowledge as a first time basin restoration and management scheme.
A lesser form of bird hunting has been successfully and to overall satisfaction agreed upon with hunters, which allows wading species to migrate before limited hunting season starts.

Jukajoki Restoration Project, begun in 2010, has risen in the past six years as a global example of boreal co-management of a basin. It has partners in Australia, Canada, and Saami areas. Recently it was featured in the UNEP 2014 Yearbook as a best practice, and received the Energy Globe 2015 award for a best ecological project. It is a new style of northern boreal ecological restoration where traditional knowledge and science go hand in hand, as featured also in a major US documentary film.
Exchange
Inspirational value: It is the first time this manner of restoration work has happened in Finland and in the boreal of Eurasia to this extent. Jukajoki and Linnunsuo are models for a new style of ecological restoration throughout those middle and south boreal sites where natural values and ecosystems have collapsed. Lastly, it was the villages and fishermen who accomplished all of this - not a small detail to consider.
Experience you would like to share: Ecological, village-led restoration and activities that have produced extremely relevant results in a short time.
Experience you would like to gain: Learn of challenges and problems as well as solutions to ecological restoration across Europe and the ways local communities have been involved.
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