Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Finland’s Protected Areas

A comprehensive international assessment of the management effectiveness of Finland’s protected areas was commissioned by Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland (PWF) and carried out by an independent expert group in 2023.

The assessment was based on the framework developed by the IUCN World Commission for Protected Areas (WCPA). The assessment themes were operating context and the state of protected areas, planning, inputs and resources, process, outputs, and outcomes. The current management of the network was evaluated and compared with the results of the previous evaluation carried out in 2004.

PWF produced extensive thematic background material and answers to a series of network-level questions based on the framework, which formed the core of the actual evaluation and report. In addition, an assessment based on the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) was carried out in five protected areas; Summaries of these are annexed to the report. The evaluation also included a field trip, with visits to the assessed sites and meetings with representatives of Metsähallitus, organisations and stakeholders.

Management of Finland’s protected areas was assessed as good by international standards. Despite the general decline in biodiversity, PWF was considered to have achieved its objectives in protecting the conservation values for which it is responsible in protected areas. However, the evaluation team made a number of recommendations to improve effectiveness: These are summarised by theme and spelled out question by question in the assessment report.

More information

Full report: Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Finland’s Protected Areas 2023 (

Summary of the Evaluation Report and Recommendations (

Press release: A recent report on Finland’s protected areas: Recommendations for promoting biodiversity and effective management (3rd April 2023)