New Valaam Monastery recognized for responsible forest management

Heinävesi, Finland, December 24, 2020

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New Valaam Monastery in Heinävesi, Finland was awarded the “Sprout of Responsibility” honorary prize from the Finnish branch of the Forest Stewardship Council this year for its merits in ecological, social, and efficient forest management.

A new plan for the use of the monastery’s forest land, which currently covers 1,160 acres, was drawn up in 2018, aimed at defining long-term management goals and setting guidelines for sample-level management, reports the Finnish Orthodox Church.

Under the new plan, “the management of the Valaam Monastery forestry fully takes into account the experience and proven Orthodox traditions of using and protecting nature for the sake of future generations.” In this context, the monastery’s goals are holistic nature management, the conservation of valuable habitats, the preservation of the intangible natural and landscape value of the monastery, and sustainable wood production.

The monastery owns a 38-year-old Karelian birch grove, from which it plans to manufacture decorative items.

“For us, and for many of our guests, the forest is a place of peace and experience, and also a source of inspiration. We are continuing this Valaam tradition,” reads the monastery’s press release quoted by the Finnish Church’s press service.

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