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Estonian Fund for Nature Print
lendoravSea, forest and wetlands – the aim of the Estonian Fund for Nature (Eestimaa Looduse Fond – ELF) is to preserve the entire Estonian nature and its diversity. Since 1991, the voluntary civic association in cooperation with many people and organizations has been the leader of various wildlife conservation projects important to Estonia. On the initiative of ELF, natural parks and wildlife preserves have been established; also extensive inventories to map Estonia’s natural resources have been carried out.


1elfThis is how we protect Estonia’s riches. Estonia’s natural diversity compared to territories with the similar surface area and latitudes is one the biggest in the world. We still retain the types of landscapes almost non-existent elsewhere in Europe – for example bogs and hereditary landscapes – which in turn offer better chances to preserve the species that have become very rare in the rest of Europe. One of such natural “pearls” is flying squirrel – the creature on ELF’s logo. Its known nests in the hollows of old aspens count to near 80 in Estonia.

1elfAdditionally, we try to promote the preservation of nature through the introduction of the more sensible management. Now this is thinking of future generations. How to reach the situation where our current deeds will not indeed damage the life of people seven generations ahead of us?

1elfRespect grows out of knowledge. We believe that people mindful of nature act in a way to sustain the environment they live in. This is the reason we consider the people’s access to natural education very important, especially during the school age when one’s value judgements develop. Getting to know nature enables a person to reach a deeper understanding of the world and how does it work.

ELF (Eestimaa Looduse Fond - Estonian Fund for Nature) is a non-profit organisation.

ELF was established in 1991 by biologists and conservationists and in close co-operation with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature). WWF has remained ELF's main international co-operation partner.

ELF's achievements. After the restoration of independence in 1991 Estonia political decision was taken about restitution of properties including land to the former owners or their descendants. Since it is much easier to form new protected areas when the land is owned by the state, ELF took quick action to safeguard the future of valuable areas. Proposals were made to establish new big protected areas and natural parks. By that time Soomaa and Karula national parks and Lower-Pedja nature reserve were established. The area of these taken together is about 740 sq kilometres. During following years, ELF has played a significant role in the establishment of tens of other smaller protected areas over Estonia. ELF has carried on inventories of valuable habitats - wetlands, old-growth forests and meadows and participates in designing the Natura 2000 network of protected areas. In recent years ELF has more and more activities dedicated to environmental education, public awareness and public participation in environmental decisions and activities.