There are 156 areas in Finland that have been classified as nationally valuable landscapes. They represent the cultural landscapes of our country, and their value is based on culturally significant natural diversity, cultivated agricultural landscape and traditional architecture.
Pallastunturit fells belong to the nationally valuable landscapes in Finland. © Aarno Torvinen, Image Bank of the Environmental Administration.
According to the national land use objectives set in the Land Use and Building Act, valuable landscapes must be taken into account in land use planning. For example, they must be marked in the Regional Land Use Plans. However, rural landscapes are threatened by the impoverishment of nature, decay of buildings and unsuitable new construction projects. The changes in agriculture are also causing landscapes to change.
The aim of designating landscape areas as valuable is to secure prominent and viable rural landscapes and to arouse public interest in landscape management. The current landscapes were selected in 1995 by a decision-in-principle by the Government.
Evaluation of the areas is based not only on the particular features and specialities of the areas, but also on the regional landscape division. The division was created on 1992, then the landscape area group set up by the Ministry of the Environment divided Finland into ten regional landscapes, based on the regional variation of natural and cultural characteristics. Landscape areas are selected so that they represent the most important features of each region. Meanwhile, the division ensures the regionally versatile distribution of valuable landscape areas.
Inventory in progress
At the moment, the Ministry of the Environment is conducting an update on the landscape area network and information. In addition to nationally valuable landscapes, regionally valuable areas are also included in the inventory project. The updating takes place in cooperation with the National Board of Antiquities, the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, the state enterprise Metsähallitus and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
The inventories have been done 2010-2014. The hearing will be arranged during 2015.
Coordinator Sonja Forss, The Finnish Environment Institute, tel. +358 (0) 295 251 120, firstname.lastname@example.org