22 May is the United Nations International Day for Biological Diversity. The day has traditionally been UPM’s Plant-a-Tree Day when tree planting events with different stakeholders have been organised. This year in Finland in four locations different groups have the opportunity to get acquainted with the forest and the importance of trees:
- in Laukaa UPM Silvesta, UPM’s subsidiary specialising in forestry work, together with city of Jyväskylä and several other local partners are organising an event for newcomers to the country
- in Pieksamäki in an open event UPM Silvesta’s new local franchising partner will give the audience advice on tree planting and forestry in general. Naturally all participants also have the opportunity to test tree planting in practise.
- in Eurajoki schoolchildren will plant trees together with UPM experts.
- UPM head office personnel have the opportunity to make a forest visit and plant trees in Loppi.
The International Day for Biological Diversity is also visible in Helsinki in the Esplanadi park: in the morning at 7:30 – 10:00 and in the afternoon from 15:00 onwards forestry students will distribute spruce seedlings grown in UPM’s Joroinen nursery to passers-by.
“The tree seedlings remind people of the International Day of Biological Diversity as well as of the long time span of sustainable forestry and the importance of forest regeneration as a central part of responsible forest management,” says Timo Lehesvirta, Director, UPM Environment.
Forests are one of the Earth’s most valuable natural resources. They provide shelter and food for people and to many other species. They also play a key role in biological diversity and climate. A single tree growing in the forest can sequestrate as much as 1000 kilogrammes of atmospheric carbon, combats climate change and produces thousands of kilogrammes of fresh oxygen throughout its lifetime. Millions of jobs around the world also depend on trees.
Trees are also a valuable renewable raw material for different end products. Products made of wood are recyclable and biodegradable and finally they can be used as a source for bioenergy.
“Taking care of regeneration of forests is the basis for our operations,” says Timo Lehesvirta, Director, Environmental Affairs. “Our forest experts in different countries plant about 50 million new trees every year.”
Since the United Nation International Day of Forests on 21 March UPMers have organised several Plant-a-Tree Day events in different countries e.g. in China in Changshu and Beijing, Estonia, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, Spain, Uruguay and the USA in Madison and Grand Rapids. In Finland a group of children from a pre-school in Soukka planted tree seedlings donated by UPM in an ENO Environment Online’s event and 115 fourth degree schoolchildren from Simonkallio were taken by UPMers on a forest visit in Karkkila. The tree planting season continues and e.g. in Joroinen in Finland the schoolchildren from local school will plant tree seedlings to create a “Hundred Acre Wood” in the neighbourhood. On 29 May UPM organises together with ENO Environment Online a Plant-a-Tree Day in Joensuu.