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Nature conservation cooperation between Finland and Russia

The border zone between Finland and Russia plays a vital role in maintaining the biodiversity of northern coniferous forests. Finland and Russia have a shared responsibility to conserve this natural heritage.

Conservation areas

The emphasis of the nature conservation cooperation between Finland and Russia is in expediting the ratification of environmental agreements in the area, improving the interconnectedness of nature conservation areas and establishing new conservation areas.

In February 2013, the Russian Federation established an extensive national park on the Onega Peninsula, which is bordered by the White Sea in the north-east part of the Arkhangelsk area. In 2007, Russia approved a decree that established a state institution called the Kalevalsky national park. Located in an area governed by the town of Kostomuksha in the Republic of Karelia, the Kalevalsky national park borders the Finnish municipality of Suomussalmi.

Other conservation areas born from the cooperation between Finland and Russia include the Ystävyydenpuisto Park, located in Kuhmo and Kostomuksha, and the Lake Vodlozero and Lake Panozero national parks in the Republic of Karelia.

Another key part of the nature conservation cooperation between Finland and Russia is the Green Belt of Fennoscandia, a cluster of existing and proposed conservation areas stretching from the Gulf of Finland to the Barents Sea, located within the borders of Finland, Russia and also Norway in the north. At the Barents meeting of environment ministers, held in Norway on 19 February 2010, Finland, Russia and Norway signed a memorandum of understanding by which the three countries agreed to work together for the ecological, economic, social and cultural development of the Green Belt of Fennoscandia.

In late 2013, The Ministry Of Environment started a project to promote the development of the Green Belt of Fennoscandia. The aim of the project is to create a broad national co-operation network to promote the Green Belt and develop the operational and communicational models to improve biodiversity and sustainable use of the area and to promote regional sustainable development on both sides of the border.

The border region between Finland and Russia includes two biosphere areas: The North Karelia biosphere area in Finland and the Lapland biosphere area in Kola, Russia.

Cooperation forums and programmes

The Finnish-Russian Working Group on Nature Conservation promotes the establishment of conservation areas and the conservation of endangered species in Finland and north-western Russia, and develops cooperation between the different conservation areas in the border zone.

In order to coordinate the cooperation between Finland and Russia, a Development Programme on Sustainable Forest Management and Conservation of Biological Diversity in Northwest Russia was initiated in 1997.

The nature conservation cooperation between Russia and the Nordic countries is coordinated through the international nature conservation network of the Barents region.

Further information

Senior Environmental Adviser Kristiina Niikkonen, tel. +358 (0)50 301 4721, firstname.lastname@ym.fi


Published 2013-07-25 at 14:49, updated 2016-05-19 at 13:18