Research of border regions supporting the use of natural resources and environmental legislation
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006
Objective of the project
The purpose of the project was to produce information in order to plan the use of natural resources in the Republic of Karelia near the Finnish border. In regards to the work of government authorities, the focus would be on applying the Framework Directive in the field of water policy in the border regions.
• Completion of five inventory trips to the area of Karhunkolmio to collect forest and swamp test pieces, water samples, samples of benthic animals and water plant inventories, • Classification of the ecological and chemical state of the waters of 17 drainage areas in the target region, • Analysing environmental changes that have occurred during the past 20 years in the target areas by using satellite images, • Classification of the areas in natural state according to their properties (forest, swamp and water areas) and determining the impact of human activity in the properties of the comparative areas, • Identification of the areas with rich vegetation based on existing data.
The project completed 5 inventory trips to the area of Karhunkolmio and a collection of material including 77 forest and swamp test pieces, out of which 69 included a detailed test piece network of vegetation, and 120 swamp test pieces. The material contained water samples that determined the chemical properties of the water, samples of benthic animals and water plant inventories. The material helped to classify the ecological and chemical state of the waters of 17 drainage areas in the target region. Additionally, satellite images were used to analyse regional changes, primarily by forest industry, during the past 20 years. The material created the basis for classifying the areas in natural state according to their properties (forest, swamp and water areas) and determining the impact of human activity in the properties of the comparative areas. Only three of the surveyed drainage areas were classified as being entirely in their natural state, three had been altered slightly, the rest were no longer in their natural state. Forest industry had only had a slight impact on the chemical state of the water system of the drainage area, whereas the ecological changes were more significant. As a summary of the inventories, it was possible to claim that it was extremely difficult to find a drainage area in its natural state in North Karelia and the district of Muezersky. Based on the inventories, it was intended to determine the essential factors to be considered in the treatment of drainage areas and in connection of areas that should undergo restoration. This issue was left partly open, because so much new information was produced in the project that it was not possible to complete everything within the project framework. In addition to the inventory survey, the project implemented a preliminary analysis of identifying areas with varied groups of vegetation by combining existing satellite imagery and tree and plant analyses performed in situ. The results of the researches were presented in the concluding project seminar. The project worked in cooperation with the authorities of the Muezersky district and border control authorities and did research cooperation with the Karelia Science Centre. Other cooperation remained somewhat wanting due to a suitable partner. The Framework Directive in the field of water policy was applied in the border regions solely from the Finnish perspective. However, the inventories gave additional information for a classification of water systems in accordance with the Framework Directive in the field of water policy (particularly for assessing the comparative natural conditions and human activity) and thus supported the further work of the authorities with water systems extending beyond the border.
Duration2005-01-01 - 2007-08-31
Total Budget / Programme funding312 462 € / 312 462 €
Lead partnerJoensuu University, the research station of Mekrijärvi
Lead partner web-site
PartnersKarelian Science Centre
The district of Muezersky
The district of Suojärvi