The decrease in biodiversity continues worldwide and is, along with climate change, one of the biggest problems of our time. Diverse nature secures functioning ecosystems, which also contribute to the balancing of climate change. Without these functioning natural systems, the well-being of people and the conditions of life are also at stake. Although threats to biodiversity and important solutions are global, practical measures are ultimately implemented at the local level.

Espoo is growing and being built at an accelerating pace, and dense construction areas are also moving to previously natural areas. Finding out and preserving the value concentrations and ecological connections of the nature’s core areas in the developing urban structure is vital in order to safeguard biodiversity and functioning ecosystems. At the same time, the recreational and health effects they offer to people and other vital ecosystem services are promoted. In addition to the protection network, there is a need for practices that pervade the city’s entire operation, with which biodiversity is more widely taken into account everywhere. Diversity can also be promoted and developed in many places.

Objectives and reports of the Nature conservation measures project

Nature conservation measures, or LuonTo, is an extensive project based on the Espoo Story, which was initiated in 2018. Its goal is to protect and promote natural values and diversity locally in the Espoo area, complying with international and national obligations and goals and implementing the Espoo Story. The living environment of Espoo residents will be attractive, and nature values and natural diversity will wants to keep intact. Forests, fields and the cultural landscape will continue to be taken into goals has account in the urban development of Espoo.

The project explored and determined ways to support existing protected areas and to supplement the nature conservation network regionally and qualitatively. The values and special features of Espoo’s nature are to be preserved and strengthened in the long term, and the functioning ecosystem services produced by nature are to be secured and improved.

The sub-areas of the LuonTo project are the Ecological Network’s current State Survey, the Action Program for Natural Diversity and Espoo’s practices for promoting biodiversity.

  • The goal of the Ecological Network’s Current State Survey is to form an overall picture of the current state of Espoo's ecological network, find concentrations of values in nature and update the situation of ecological connections.
  • The aim of the 2021–2030 program for biodiversity is to find out and present sites to complement the nature conservation network, as well as other natural sites significant for the preservation of biodiversity and the ecological network, whose values should be protected in Espoo.
  • The practices of Espoo for the promotion of biodiversity section aims to compile the city’s practices for considering and promoting biodiversity outside the conservation network.