A third ICCA (Indigenous and Community Conserved Area) has been formally registered in the UNEP WCMC registry of ICCAs–territories of life in Finland in early April. “GoldCrest” is a small old-growth forest (OGF) site important to the local Selkie village. The forest was under threat of a clear cut, but thanks to the Landscape Rewilding Programme, has now been spared.
The Hippiäinen / GoldCrest Forest ICCA constitutes 2 hectares of the site with the remainder in private landownership but strictly conserved by the state measures as an OGF site. It contains over 100-year-old European spruce (Picea abies subsp. abies) dominating the forest and contains over 650 cubic meters of timber in 2 HAs (highly dense OGF site).
Village people have detected the spreading of invasive Himalyan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) entering into the forest. In 2019 the visible individuals were removed but in the future local governance of the site these invasives are continuously removed as a management action to protect native species.
For mammals this ICCA site is the home of flying squirrel (Pteromys volans). European Brown Bear, moose, lynx, forest hare and other common boreal species visit the site. Bird surveys have detected 27 bird species in the forest. For example Common Caffinch (Fringilla coelebs), Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus), Common redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) are nesting in the area. Selkie village school is 200 meters away and under the programme of Karelian traditions children can now visit a real forest next to them and be immersed in the boreal OGF birds, plants, trees, mosses and all life in the forest. Village also uses the forest for berry and mushroom picking, skiing, hiking, hunting and other activities.
However of special importance on the site is the GoldCrest (Regulus regulus) for traditional-cultural reasons. This is why the ICCA has been named “GoldCrest”.
Featured image: A view from the GoldCrest ICCA © Snowchange, 2019.