Other effective area-based conservation measures (OECM)

Besides the actual protected areas, forest biodiversity is maintained and promoted through other effective area-based conservation measure (OECM) areas. OECM areas refer to sites other than actual protected areas that are managed and treated in such a way that effective and long-term impacts are achieved in the protection of the natural values and biodiversity of the site. The areas must be valuable in terms of their biodiversity and have definable geographical boundaries. Ecosystem functions and services and cultural, spiritual, socio-economic and other locally relevant values are being preserved as well. The most obvious OECM areas in Finland are the habitats of special importance specified in the Forest Act. Areas such as landscape management areas, recreational forests in urban areas and semi-natural grasslands managed under environmental contracts could also be designated as OECM areas.

The aim of the project concerning OECM areas is to identify areas outside the protected areas where the preservation of biodiversity could be promoted. The identification of OECM areas is important for the achievement of the 30% protection target by 2030 in the national implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. Besides the protected areas, the areas approved as OECM areas will be reported to the international statistics for the first time in 2025.

Related links

Areas supporting the protected area network and safeguarding biodiversity in Finland (in Finnish, abstract in English)
Other effective area-based conservation measures OECM – data examination and development for implementation of the commitments related to EU Biodiversity Strategy

Further information

Katja Matveinen, Chief Specialist 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Metsä- ja biotalousyksikkö Telephone:0295162287   Email Address: