Metsähallitus Manages Most Part of Finland’s Natura 2000 Network
Finland, as well as the other EU member states, chose the areas for Natura 2000 Network proposal on the grounds of the Habitats and the Birds Directives. The Birds Directive obliges the member states to protect an adequate number of nesting sites and resting places during the migration for the bird species which are considered important in the EU. The Habitats Directive obliges the member states to protect an adequate sample of natural habitat types which are considered important in the EU. An individual site may be protected on the grounds of either the Birds Directive or the Habitats Directive or both.
In Finland, Natura 2000 Network is mostly based on already existing nature reserves. The network also protects natural features which have not been protected so well before, such as the underwater natural features of the archipelago and the coast, lakes, large rivers, small waters, rocks and cultural landscapes. Most part of the network is managed by Metsähallitus.
In the beginning, Metsähallitus collected and supplemented the data on Natura 2000 areas. In addition, the management planning and monitoring is now starting, and its principles and practices are being formed.
Metsähallitus manages and restores the protected areas included in Natura 2000 Network as a part of its nature reserve network. However, the fact that these areas are included in Natura 2000 means that it is possible to get funding for management and restoration projects from the EU, too, if the applicitions are good.