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Conservation and research programmes

Finnish nature conservation and research involve different theme programmes involving themes such as forests or underwater nature in the Baltic Sea. Comprehensive programmes enable collaboration among different entities, and the distribution of information that is amassed. The programmes can help launch both national and international strategies and protection programmes for natural diversity.
Environment DNA, or eDNA refers to the DNA spread by organisms into the surrounding environment. Samples of eDNA are collected from the aquatic or land environment, from snow, or the air instead of taking the sample straight from the organism. © Riku Lumiaro

The Helmi programme offers solutions for stopping the impoverishment of Finnish nature. The programme involves upgrading, caring for, and protecting habitats that are the most important for natural diversity. Helmi targets swamps, bird waters and wetlands, cultural biotopes, wooded habitats, and shores and small bodies of water. The Helmi programme is a joint effort of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and it is set to continue until 2030.

METSO, the Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland 2014–2025 links the conservation of forests with their commercial use. Its goal is to stop the decline of wooded habitats and forest species, and to establish positive development in natural diversity. The programme is implemented through voluntary, ecologically effective means. The Finnish Government gave its approval to the programme in the summer of 2014. The programme continues at least through the end of 2025.

•    METSO - Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland

The PUTTE project studies inadequately known species, distribution, abundance, and habitat requirements in known taxa. This knowledge of species is necessary both in the evaluation of how threatened the species are, and in the practical work of species protection and in the effective targeting of measures to be taken. In the first PUTTE programme, (PUTTE 1) of research into inadequately known and threatened forest species, the Ministry of the Environment funded a total of 68 research projects in 2003–2016.

In the ongoing PUTTE 2 - the Research Programme for deficiently known and threatened species and habitats 2021-2022, funding was provided for 13 research projects. The first PUTTE programme funded by the Ministry of the Environment was operational in 2003–2016. In it, 1,969 species were found that are new to Finland, no less than 556 of which were new to science. Many scientific publications were also produced in the project, experts on species were trained, and high-quality identification guides were made for the new groups of species.

VELMU or the Underwater Marine Biodiversity Inventory Programme collects information on underwater habitats, and the distribution of species and the communities that they form in Finnish marine areas. The main goal of the programme is to promote the protection of species in the Baltic Sea, and to support the sustainable use of the sea and its natural resources.


Finnish Environment Institute (Syke)