RMK’s forest survey managers recognised as stock takers of key biotopes, as of today 01.10
Today, 37 RMK forest survey managers received certificates as stock takers of key biotopes.In the managed State forest, there are currently over 11 000 hectares of key biotopes, and their area will grow further in the next few years.
A key biotope is considered an area of up to seven hectares requiring protection outside a protected natural feature, where there is a high likelihood of the occurrence of species that are narrowly adapted, endangered, vulnerable or rare.
The competency examinations of stock takers of key biotopes were taken before a board from the Ministry of the Environment. The examination was preceded by two weeks of in-service training in spring and autumn, during which forest survey managers learned how to identify moss, lichen and fungi indicating a key biotope.
“To date, a forest survey manager has been recording special natural assets in the State forest in addition to indicators to describe forest growth. Last year, proposals by RMK’s forest survey managers on over 30 hectares were additionally recognised as key biotopes,” Veiko Eltermann, Head of RMK’s Forest Survey Management Division, elaborated on the subject. Eltermann noted that it was sensible and rational to grant this additional competence to forest survey managers. From now, errors in the definition of the boundaries of a key biotope can be reviewed and quickly corrected, and new key biotopes can be placed under protection.
According to Tiit Timberg, Member of RMK’s Management Board, of the 815 000 hectares of State forest in Estonia, over 135 000 hectares (17%) are today under strict protection. Those forests are subject to no management and have been left entirely to evolve naturally. “Of this forest under strict protection, over 120 000 hectares comprise special management zones of national parks, protected areas and species protection sites as well as reserves. Protection is governed by the Nature Conservation Act,” Timberg clarified. “Key biotopes, the nature of which is defined by the Forest act and 11 000 hectares of which are today under strict protection, create a chain interlinking protected areas and ensure the cohesion of protected areas,” said Timberg, pointing out the important role of key biotopes.
Tiit Timberg and Veiko Eltermann shared the opinion that the proliferation of key biotopes in our forests indicated that forest management had been economical and sustainable. They also found that RMK's 37 forest survey managers now provide an important force with the help of which the biological diversity of our forests could be highlighted and protected even better.
RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at sustainable and efficient management of the state forest. RMK grows reforestation materials, organises forestry works, is engaged in the sale of forest and timber and organises game upkeep. In addition, RMK establishes opportunities for hiking in nature and forest recreation on recreational areas, in Estonia’s five national parks and 40 other protected areas, and shapes awareness of nature. RMK manages 38% of Estonia’s forests.