UPM Raflatac, WWF Poland decide to continue cooperating to protect Poland's rivers through such actions as supporting knowledge exchange regarding fish ladders and passes, brochure on good practices for river restoration, and monitoring water investments

TAMPERE, Finland , May 6, 2014 (press release) – WWF Poland and UPM Raflatac have decided to continue cooperation to protect Polish rivers. Since January 2012, UPM Raflatac has been supporting WWF Poland’s valuable work on the Rivers for Life project that aims at protecting the river wildlife and improving safety of the people living in the valley.

One key element is UPM Raflatac Poland supporting knowledge exchange related to the fish ladders and passes. The existing hydrotechnical structures have a damaging impact on the river ecosystem, especially on migratory fish. That is why a trip to Finland will be organized for decision makers and people responsible for river management. The visit will focus on technical solutions and good practices for salmon river management.

Another activity, supported by UPM Raflatac, would be WWF Poland’s information brochure on good practices for the restoration of rivers, streams continuity and the proper maintenance of rivers with wild salmon populations. This will include at least one example of a technical solution fish pass and one example of wild salmon population management from Finland. WWF Poland plans to distribute it to about 400 entities, mainly institutions responsible for water management, design offices and contractors.

Other actions brought about by the joint initiative of UPM Raflatac and WWF Poland include monitoring of water investments - new and modernized hydrotechnical structures - on the Odra and its tributaries in terms of ensuring passability for water organisms. On the basis of this monitoring, recommendations and expert opinions will be made to support environmental impact assessments and decision making, including introducing necessary design modifications to ensure migration possibilities up and down the river.

UPM and WWF have a long history of co-operation. The two organisations work together in a number of national and international projects to promote the responsible and sustainable use of natural resources. The cooperation in Poland during 2012-2013 resulted in updating, distribution and promotion of the Atlas of the Odra River Floodplain. WWF Poland has also prepared expert opinions and consultations on the plans and technical designs for fish ladders on the barrage at Brzeg Dolny undergoing modernization and the barrage at Malczyce undergoing construction. Analysis of the design documentation developed for the planned modernization of the fish ladder at Brzeg Dolny commissioned by WWF Poland revealed the need for changing a series of the fish ladder parameters to obtain optimum parameters of its capacity for aquatic organisms. Environmental awareness events were also held for staff and customers at UPM Raflatac’s sites in Poland.

“We are very proud to participate again in The Rivers for Life project conducted by WWF Poland,” says Jani Konkarikoski, General Manager of UPM Raflatac Poland. “We decided to extend the cooperation on this project as continuation is very important to us. A series of the fish ladder parameters have been corrected and we are hoping, that now construction works on barrages will follow WWF guidelines. Still there is a lot of monitoring work on fish pass investments to be done in order to achieve this. As in previous years our partnership will also support exchange of environmental knowhow and will drive environmental awareness through the planned events for staff, customers and end-users of our products. UPM Raflatac sees clear benefits in this cooperation both for nature and people,” concludes Konkarikoski.

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WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with almost five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

UPM Raflatac is one of the world’s leading producers of self-adhesive label materials. We supply high-quality paper and film labelstock for consumer product and industrial labelling through a global network of factories, distribution terminals and sales offices. We employ around 2,900 people and made sales of EUR 1.2 billion (USD 1.6 billion) in 2013. UPM Raflatac is part of UPM – The Biofore Company. Find out more at www.upmraflatac.com

UPM
Through the renewing of the bio and forest industries, UPM is building a sustainable future across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper Europe and North America and UPM Plywood. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. We serve our customers worldwide. The Group employs around 21,000 people and our annual sales are approximately € 10 billion. UPM shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com

UPM´s Biofore thinking entails a long term commitment to environmental responsibility through the whole lifecycle of our products and operations. Our key areas in environmental responsibility are sustainable products, climate, water, forest and waste. The company is focusing on the continuous development of its performance, aiming towards achieving long term targets set for 2020. www.upm.com/responsibility

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