KS1022 RiverGo

River flows - Life goes

The three main objectives of the project were: 1) to promote preservation of biodiversity and nature values in the River Vuoksi and surroundings on both sides of the border, 2) to increase discussion and mutual understanding among the cross-border authorities of the nature values and of the common good of sustainable use of River Vuoksi environment and its natural resources, and 3) to enhance environmental awareness of local inhabitants and visitors on both sides of the border.

To achieve these goals, the project gathered information on nature values on both the riverside and the river channel of the River Vuoksi and on potential threats to them. As a result, nature values were quantified and knowledge of biodiversity and of endangered species and their habitats in the River Vuoksi and riverside was increased. Biological monitoring and research for nature values on the river side, studies on the state and structure of valuable fish populations and their habitats as well as the study of the distribution of invasive species, signal crayfish, and of the impact of water construction and climate change on valuable salmonid populations, enabled making of evidence-based plans and recommendations for authorities and managers about preservation of biodiversity and nature values as well as about sustainable use of the shared natural resources in the Vuoksi area. The plans and recommendations were communicated to relevant authorities to enable evidence-based management and decision-making concerning conservation and sustainable use of land and natural resources in the River Vuoksi region, i.e., to be used for example in land use planning. The new information on habitats, flora and fauna was also important for producing education and dissemination materials aimed at increasing knowledge and environmental awareness of the public, especially the youth.

Practical actions were also taken to preserve the valuable Vuoksi nature and its biodiversity. Concrete actions, the river restorations, to improve environmental conditions for salmonid reproduction and thus the state of salmonid populations, will have a positive influence on valuable salmonids that utilise the restored rapids areas for reproduction. The status of the salmonid populations will improve. In addition to promoting preservation of biodiversity, the increase in fish numbers also enables their utilization sustainably by the fishermen. The development and applying of the web-based interactive waste map facilitates more efficient solid waste management (litter, abandoned fishing gear) and the efforts of the public and administrations to reach decreased anthropogenic load on the Vuoksi basin for the well-being of local inhabitants and for attracting tourists with a clean environment.