The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry shares responsibility for the state of biodiversity in Finland, as part of the Finnish Government. The ministry has overall responsibility for the sustainable use, management and conservation of biodiversity in connection with agriculture, forestry, game stocks, reindeer husbandry, fisheries and natural resource use in the context of rural development.
Finland’s National Strategy and Action Plan for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in Finland for the period 2006-2016 aim to meet Finland’s internationally agreed obligations and objectives. The responsibility for implementing the measures in the action plan measures is shared among the public authorities.
Significantly slowing the ongoing decline in biodiversity is a vital global goal. The EU and Finland have defined an even more challenging target: to completely halt the loss of biodiversity.
Ensuring the sustainable use of biodiversity
The biodiversity of agricultural areas is highly significant in Finland. The agri-environmental support scheme includes several actions relating to biodiversity, including the management of traditional agricultural biotopes, the rearing of local livestock breeds, the cultivation of local crop varieties, and the establishment and management of riparian zones and wetlands.
The protection of forest biodiversity in Finland is founded on the Forest Act. Practical actions are set down in Finland’s National Forest Programme 2016 and the METSO Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland.
Biodiversity is also taken into account in the management of fishing waters, game management, reindeer husbandry and the restoration of water bodies.
The Natura 2000 network – protecting natural habitats and species
The EU-wide Natura 2000 network aims to support the preservation of biodiversity, taking account of economic, cultural and regional issues. Sites are designated for inclusion in the network to protect valuable natural habitats and their characteristic plant and animal species.
Provisions on the Natura 2000 network are laid down in Council Directives 92/43/EEC (Habitats Directive) and 79/409/EEC (Birds Directive). The network comprises areas designated as special areas of conservation under the Habitats Directive and special protection areas defined in accordance with the Birds Directive.
Finland’s national provisions concerning the Natura 2000 network are laid down in Chapter 10 of the Nature Conservation Act 1096/1996.
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