Protected Area Management and Use
Protected area management comprises all activities that the manager of the protected area is doing in the protected area or outside its boundaries to fulfil the goals of the protected area.
Next to the ecological management operations, the management activies include also the construction and maintenance of hiking facilities, nature interpretation and production of information material, user guidance, and supervision. Also studies as part of the management planning are part of this entity.
Protected Area Management Principles Guide the Operations of Metsähallitus
Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland follows the guidelines called the Protected Area Management Principles (available only in Finnish). The guidelines define the protected area types on state-owned lands, their protection goals and the general principles to be followed in the protected area management.
Protected Area Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE)
Protected area management planning is supported by the monitoring of the state of the protected areas.
The monitoring of protected areas managed by Metsähallitus includes also the evaluation of the effectiveness of management procedures and the need for new or corrective measures. The tools of the evaluation comprise:
- The continuous monitoring of the protected areas and the PA network by means of indicators and parameters
- The Natura 2000 Site Condition Assessment (NATA) and the updating of Natura 2000 standard data forms
- The management effectiveness evaluation of national parks
- The monitoring of the implementation and impacts of PA management plans as well as proposed measures in the operational plans
- The monitoring of the sustainability of nature tourism: the setting of the goals for indicators and the limits of acceptable change is carried out in nature tourism plans and PA management plans
- The monitoring and reporting related to international designations, such as Ramsar Sites or Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
- The assessment of the state of and the changes in the Natura 2000 and protected area networks in connection to regional master planning
- The State of the Parks reporting: a report on the state of the PA network produced on regular basis; can also include an external evaluation of the effectiveness of protected area management
- Reporting on the Natura 2000 areas required by the EU Habitat Directive: the area of a habitat types or the population of a species and the trends thereof as well as the measures carried out in Natura 2000 areas and outside them and the impacts of the measures on the state of the habitats and species (the next report on the period 2013–2018 will be carried out in 2019)
- The reporting on the realisation of the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA): reporting every 3 to 4 years
Points 2 to 6 mainly concern single protected areas and 7 to 10 on protected area network monitoring and reporting
Extensive Evaluation in 2004
At the request of Metsähallitus, an extensive international evaluation on the effectiveness of protected area management in Finland was carried out in 2004. (MEE: Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Finland's Protected Areas)
Finland was the first industrialised country to have the management effectiveness of the protected area network carried out this extensively. The evaluation made in Finland has served as model for other countries when implementing the Programme of Work on Protected Areas of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Protected area management in Finland had been evaluated also in 1994.
The level of protected area management was regarded as good in the 2004 evaluation. The evaluation group made, however, a number of recommendations on improving the effectiveness of the protected area system. One important recommendation was that Metsähallitus should do regular reporting on the state of the protected areas to analyse the management effectiveness. The first State of the Parks report was published in 2007.
State of the Parks in Finland - Finnish Protected Areas and Their Management from 2000 to 2005 (Heinonen ed. 2007) (julkaisut.metsa.fi)
Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Finland´s Protected Areas (Gilligan & al 2005) (julkaisut.metsa.fi)
Finland´s Protected Areas. A Technical Assessment (Eidsvik & Bibelriether 1994) (julkaisut.metsa.fi)