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Towards coherent protected area network in Finland (KOKASU)


The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 ”Bringing nature back into our lives” includes several ambitious targets for protecting biodiversity and restoring habitats. For this project, the most important ones are the first three objectives:

  1. Legally protect a minimum of 30% of the EU’s land area and 30% of the EU’s sea area and integrate ecological corridors, as part of a true Trans-European Nature Network.
  2. Strictly protect at least a third of the EU’s protected areas, including all remaining EU primary and old-growth forests.
  3. Effectively manage all protected areas, defining clear conservation objectives and measures, and monitoring them appropriately.
© Photo: Esa Nikunen / SYKEKuvat

Objectives of the project

In this project we collect information and data to support national definition and implementation of the first target of the EU Biodiversity strategy: protect a minimum of 30% of the EU’s land area and 30% of the EU’s sea area to improve connectivity and coherence of theprotected area network. We will gather information produced in earlied research and development projects and utilize several different GIS data sources on the Finnish protected area network and known biodiversity hot spots. The main aim is to recognize thematic and regional gaps in current biodiversity protection in eight main habitats: Baltic Sea, coastal habitats, fell habitats, forests, inland waters and shores, mires, rocky habitats and seminatural grasslands.

We will seek answers to these questions:

  1. How well does the current protected area network in Finland cover threatened habitat types and species?
  2. What are the main deficiencies in the network in terms of ecosystems and regions?
  3. How much potential there is for new protected areas if we look at threatened habitat types and species at risk?
  4. What are the main information gaps and future research needs when we move towards implementation of the Strategy objectives?

The project will be implemented in the spirit of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to put biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030.

Implementation of the project

The project will be carried out by the Finnish Environment Institute's Biodiversity, Freswater and Marine research centres (altogether three man-years with c. 25 experts). We will utilize published literature, the most up-to-date assessments of threatened habitat types and species in Finland, and GIS data. The results will be compiled in a report which will be published both in Finnish and in English in early 2022. The communication and interaction will be planned and implemented together with the Ministy of the Environment and other relevant stakeholders.

More information

Project manager Saija Kuusela, Finnish Environment Institute, firstname.surname@syke.fi, tel. +358 295 251 043.

Published 2021-02-24 at 12:40, updated 2021-02-24 at 13:44

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