Published 28.6.2024

Directors of national parks from all over the world gather in Turku between 2 July and 4 July. –topics for discussion include biodiversity loss, habitat restoration and climate change

The leaders of organisations managing national parks and other state-owned protected areas from sixteen different countries will gather in Turku next week to discuss biodiversity loss, climate change and the role of protected areas in combatting them. Directors of national parks from Canada, the United States, Australia, South Korea and the Czech Republic will also visit the Kurjenrahka and Archipelago National Parks during the event. 

Parks & Wildlife Finland, which manages state-owned protected areas in Finland, is organising the event together with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). Biodiversity loss and climate change will feature strongly at next week’s discussions in Turku. The directors’ aim is to find ways to communicate the benefits of nature conservation more effectively to financiers, decision-makers and citizens in order to raise the funding of protected areas to a sustainable level.

“Halting biodiversity loss is our most important task as managers of state-owned protected areas. Protected areas also help us combat and adapt to climate change. For example, we will discuss with our colleagues the ways in which we can promote international commitments related to biodiversity in protected areas,” says Executive Director of Parks & Wildlife Finland Henrik Jansson from Metsähallitus.

At the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Montréal  in 2022, it was agreed – among other things – that by 2030, at least 30 per cent of the Earth’s land and surface water will be protected, invasive non-native species will be controlled and the decline of species will be halted: Montreal Biodiversity Conference COP15 – Ministry of the Environment.

“In this respect, there is still a lot of work to be done in Finland’s existing protected areas. In Turku, we will be able to share knowledge and experiences gained with other countries on how to manage protected areas effectively. Last year, an international assessment of the quality of our work was carried out in state-owned protected areas in Finland. Now, we can share the lessons learned from the assessment with others,” Jansson says.

Journalist: you are invited to interview nature conservation leaders at Hotel Kakola on Wednesday 3 July

Journalists have the opportunity to interview Director of Parks & Wildlife Finland Henrik Jansson, Chair of the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas Madhu Rao, Vice-President of Parks Canada Darlene Upton and Tomáš Růžička, Director of the Department of External Relations (organiser of the 2023 meeting) at the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic at Hotel Kakola in Turku on Wednesday 3 July at 08:30.

To sign up for the event, please email Director of Communications and Partnerships Johanna Salomaa-Valkamo by 16:00 on Monday 1 July:

Facts: World Protected Areas Leaders Forum, WPALF

  • The World Protected Areas Leaders Forum, or WPALF, is a global network for leaders of protected area organisations. It was established in 1999 under the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  • WPALF providers leaders of protected area organisations the opportunity to share information, discuss topical strategic issues and shared challenges and to promote global collaboration and awareness of the importance of protected areas.
  • The most recent WPALF meeting was organised in the Czech Republic in June 2023.
  • The July meeting in Finland reinforces Finland’s position as a forerunner in the conservation of nature and as an active player in the IUCN – particularly in its World Commission on Protected Areas.

Further information for the media:

Director of Communications and Partnerships Johanna Salomaa-Valkamo, Parks & Wildlife Finland,

tel.  040 355 8025, email format: