Preparedness for coronavirus in the administrative branch of the Ministry of the Environment

Preparedness for coronavirus in the administrative branch of the Ministry of the Environment

The Ministry of the Environment and agencies and institutes in its administrative branch are following the coronavirus situation and its impacts on construction, housing production, waste and wastewater management, etc. very closely. The Ministry of the Environment and agencies and institutes under it are prepared to react fast should further measures be required due to the spread of the coronavirus.

So far, the environmental administration has maintained its good operational capacity. However, the whole administrative branch is preparing for changes ahead by prioritising its tasks and planning the relevant deputising arrangements.

The Ministry has set up a crisis group to lead the preparedness work relating to the coronavirus situation. The crisis group is chaired by Permanent Secretary Hannele Pokka.

Led by the crisis group, the administrative branch of the Ministry of the Environment:

  • makes preparations to maintain functions that are critical to society, including waste and wastewater management. The Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Social Affairs and Health are drafting recommendations for the organisation of waste management during an epidemic caused by the coronavirus.
  • monitors and assesses the indirect impacts of the coronavirus on construction, including with respect to the availability of workforce and construction products. The Ministry has set up a working group that will follow the situation in the housing and construction sectors, together with relevant partners and operators, and give proposals for necessary measures. 
  • monitors and assesses the access to financing and how it works especially with respect to social housing production.
  • prepares practical guidance for the units managing environmental affairs at the Regional State Administrative Agencies and Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment concerning measures to deal with the coronavirus situation.

Efforts will be made to continue the legislative work at the Ministry of the Environment in the coming weeks as planned, but due to the Government’s decisions to control the spread of the coronavirus it may be difficult to organise open and broad stakeholder and public consultations on legislative projects.

Inquiries

Jussi Salmi
Communications Director
Ministry of the Environment
tel. +358 295 250 263
jussi.salmi@ym.fi

Preparedness for coronavirus at the Finnish Environment Institute

The Finnish Environment Institute has defined its critical tasks and how these are to be secured to prepare for the coronavirus situation. The preparedness group of the Finnish Environment institute monitors the situation on a daily basis.

Impacts of the coronavirus at the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland ARA

The services of the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland ARA will continue also in the present emergency conditions. Applications for financial support will be processed, decisions will be made and digital services will continue as usual.

Impacts of the coronavirus at the National Parks of Finland

  • The customer services of Metsähallitus at all nature centres, Science Centre Pilke and other customer service points stay closed from 16 March until further notice. Services of Metsähallitus are available online, on social media and by telephone.
  • For the time being, the National Parks of Finland does not organise any public events or guided tours for groups.
  • The cabins that normally can be reserved or rented stay closed between 21 March and 31 May. 
  • Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland is locking up hikers’ day huts, lapp huts and overcrowded open wilderness huts in the vicinity of tourist centres to slow down the spread of coronavirus. The huts that are being closed down are located in national parks and other hiking sites managed by Metsähallitus, for example in the local areas of Saariselkä, Kiilopää, Pyhätunturi, Luosto, Pallas, Olos, Hetta, Kilpisjärvi and Ylläs and Hossa, Syöte, Rokua, Riisitunturi, Oulanka, Iivaara ja Valtavaara-Pyhävaara areas.

Now that many events and free-time activities have been cancelled, the numbers of visitors at nature sites have grown and some of them may even be crowded. Outdoor activities in the natural environment is good for wellbeing also now when the coronavirus restricts what we can do, but large crowds of people should be avoided. It is advisable to use nearby forests and less popular destinations for outdoor recreation.

Updates on guidance by the National Parks Finland for the coronavirus situation is available at Nationalparks.fi web service.

General information on the coronavirus is available on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. Information on the impacts of the coronavirus in the administrative branches of different ministries is available on the Government website.

Telephone service at +358 295 535 535 provides general advice on the coronavirus on weekdays at 8–21 and on Saturdays at 9–15. Telephone advice also via text messages is available at +358 50 902 0163.

Published 2020-03-24 at 13:21, updated 2020-03-27 at 17:15