Nature conservation on private lands
There are almost 7,800 nature conservation areas on private lands.
A private landowner can sell a site included in a national nature conservation programme or Natura 2000 network to the State at current price or designate it as a nature conservation area and receive compensation for this. In both cases the opportunities to use the area for recreational purposes remain for the most part the same as before.
The decision to establish a nature conservation area is a permanent one and it is also entered to the real estate register.
An area may also be protected for a fixed term. A landowner and the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment may conclude an agreement on protecting an area either fully of with respect to certain measures for the maximum of 20 years at a time. Such agreements are also entered to the real estate register. An area protected by an agreement is not a nature conservation area.
Besides the sites included in conservation programmes, other privately-owned areas may also be designated for conservation e.g. as part of the Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland (METSO), where the focus is on forested environments.