Zonation in Finland

For more information concerning the Zonation, please, visit the page “Zonation software”.

Zonation software supports more sustainable decision-making in conservation and land-use planning in Finland


Zonation is a spatial conservation prioritization software developed by Atte Moilanen and his research group at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Zonation reveals the most valuable sites for expanding protected area networks. Other uses include conservation area network evaluation, targeting restoration measures and finding areas where the negative impacts of land-use on biodiversity may be minimized.



New releases!

  • National high-resolution conservation prioritisation of boreal forests https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2023.121079 (Mikkonen, Leikola, Lehtomäki, Halme, Moilanen. Forest Ecology And Management. 6 June 2023)

  • Input data resolution affects the conservation prioritization outcome of spatially sparse biodiversity features https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-023-01885-6 (Tanhuanpää, Mikkonen, Kujala, Heinaro, Mäyrä & Kumpula. AMBIO. 2 June 2023)

  • High focus on threatened species and habitats may undermine biodiversity conservation: Evidence from the northern Baltic Sea https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13710 (Virtanen & Moilanen. Diversity and Distributions. 2 May 2023)

New version of the Zonation software is released 18.5.2022

Zonation 5 is arguably the most powerful approach to spatial priority ranking currently available. The software is computationally highly efficient and straightforward to use. With suitable combinations of data and analysis setups, many different analytical needs can be answered.

In Finland, Zonation analyses have been utilized in several national-scale conservation projects during the last ten years. As part of the Forest Biodiversity Programme METSO 2008–2025, the conservation area network has been expanded twice in state-owned forests and the use of Zonation has had an important role in the final decisions. Zonation analyses have also been developed 3 times (in the years 2012, 2016 and 2018) to support the voluntary-based establishment of forest conservation areas and pro-biodiversity forest management plans in privately-owned areas. In 2014–2015, Zonation results served in developing a supplementary mire conservation programme.

The forest owner also benefits from Zonation analyses: the results are used to inform land owners about sites that might be suitable for voluntary protection through the METSO programme.

The development of Zonation analyses to support national and regional conservation and land use planning takes place through a broad-based project financed mainly by the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Participants include Metsähallitus, the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, the Finnish Forest Centre, Tapio, the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, and the Universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä.

More information:

Hiidenportti National Park © Ninni Mikkonen
Published 2018-06-08 at 13:06, updated 2023-06-16 at 14:44
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