National Report on Biodiversity in Finland: Biodiversity still on the decline despite rigorous work

Press release 2019-03-29 at 13:02

Finland’s broad-based working group on biodiversity has approved the sixth national report on the conservation of biodiversity in Finland. According to the report, Finland has engaged in rigorous, well-coordinated work to halt the decline in biodiversity, but the changes in practices throughout society have not been sufficient. As a result, we will not reach our target of halting biodiversity loss in Finland by 2020.

The sixth National Report on Biodiversity in Finland provides a comprehensive description of nature conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources in the country. The report assesses the implementation of the 105 measures detailed in Finland’s Biodiversity Action Plan. According to the assessment, progress could be seen in all areas of the action plan, but the work still needs to be intensified. 

“Along with climate change, the dwindling of biodiversity is one of the most important environmental challenges we face. With this in mind, Finland and other countries around the world have committed to halting biodiversity loss by 2020. Unfortunately, it now appears that we will not achieve this target. The National Report on Biodiversity in Finland and the new assessments of threatened species and habitats in Finland provide a strong knowledge base for our activities moving forward. A long-term road map for conserving biodiversity is now very much needed,” says Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing Kimmo Tiilikainen.

When it comes to achieving the twenty global Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the report states that Finland has implemented the administrative measures required to achieve them, but that changes in practices have so far been insufficient. Finland’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, entitled Saving Nature for People, has been an important tool for highlighting the conservation of biodiversity at all levels of Finnish society.

The Convention on Biological Diversity is one of the Rio conventions

The Convention on Biological Diversity is one of the three conventions decided on at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Convention on Biological Diversity is the first global convention that aims to conserve the diversity of life on earth at all levels, including species’ genetic variation, populations and the diversity of their habitats. Finland ratified the convention in July 1994.

National biodiversity strategies and action plans play an integral role in implementing the convention. The convention requires its parties to draw up national biodiversity strategies and action plans that set targets and measures for its implementation. The objective is to integrate the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity into all sectors and functions of society. 

Finland’s national report was submitted to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity on the 21st of March and will be part of the broader international Global Biodiversity Outlook.

Inquiries: 

Marina von Weissenberg, Environment Counsellor, Ministry of the Environment, firstname.lastname @ym.fi, tel. +358 295 250 321

Ari-Pekka Auvinen, Researcher, Finnish Environment Institute, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi, tel. +358 50 4113 403