International Agreements on Nature Conservation
The Ministry of the Environment represents Finland in the international environmental agreements, and directs the international nature conservation work of Metsähallitus. Finland is a member of more than a hundred international environmental agreements.
The following agreements are essential for the actual conservation work:
- Convention on Biological Diversity (1992)
The goals of this agreement are the conservation of biological diversity (the diversity of animal and plant species, their genetical diversity, and the diversity of the ecosystems on the earth), the sustainable use of natural resources, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of natural resources. The aim is that maintaining biological diversity would be included in all the activities which shape the landscape and natural features, such as agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, building, town planning, tourism and housing. The Convention on Biological Diversity also is one of the most important agreements about the rights of the indigenous peoples. It is often shortened as the CBD.
- The Bern Convention (1979), Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats
This agreement relates to the conservation of wild animals, plants, and their habitats. It has led to EU legislation, such as the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive, on the grounds of which Natura 2000 Network is established.
- The Bonn Convention (1979), Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
The CMS acts as a framework convention. Several agreements have been concluded to date under the auspices of CMS. They aim to conserve, for example, small cetaceans of the Baltic Sea, bats, and some migratory water birds.
- Ramsar Convention (1975), Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat
Out of the 49 areas which have been included in the Ramsar Convention in Finland, the majority is managed by Metsähallitus.
- The Helsinki Convention (1992), Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area
The Baltic Sea Protection Programme made by the Finnish government in 2002 is, among others, based on the HELCOM agreement. This programme lists more than 30 ways to improve the state of the Baltic Sea and to protect the marine environment. One of these measures is an inventory programme for the natural features of the marine and the coastal areas, including the underwater marine environment. Metsähallitus plays an important role in this programme.
- Essential international agreements on enviromental issues (www.ym.fi)
- Convention on Biological Diversity (www.ym.fi)
- The Bern Convention (europa.eu)
- Natura 2000 network (ec.europa.eu)
- The Bonn Convention (www.cms.int)
- Ramsar sites in Finland (www.ramsar.org)
- The Helsinki Convention (www.helcom.fi)
- The Baltic Sea Protection Programme of the Finnish government (www.ym.fi)