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Protect your local nature

Loss of nature is also a reality in Finland. You can influence the well-being of your local nature in many different ways. You can for instance do your gardening in an organic way, participate in nature management activities, or make observations about species.
A woman cleans a mushroom in the forest.
© Riku Lumiaro

Did you know that the global value of the work done by pollinators is estimated at EUR 216–529 billion? Or that spending time in nature has been proven to help prevent stress and many diseases? Even mundane nature is vital for us humans, and it is worth nurturing it, for example, by not cutting dandelions and daisies and leaving them as food for buzzy bugs and a joy for us all.

Turn your garden into a natural garden

It is possible to make your garden environmentally friendly with small changes. A natural garden is also easy to tend, as less is often more from the point of view of nature. As more people manage their gardens with respect for nature, they form a network that supports biodiversity.

Give nature some space in your garden and show a controlled lack of care.

Leave part of the garden as a natural meadow that provides nourishment and shelter for many animals such as butterflies and bumblebees.

Plant native traditional and wild plants.

They provide insects with food. Harmful invasive plant species should be avoided as they displace native species. 

Avoid pesticides in gardening.

Toxins can affect microorganisms, insects, plants, small and domestic animals, and even us humans.

Suggest acts of nature in your housing company.

You could for instance create a meadow or build a wetland in the common garden.

Help the animals

Many wild animals live close to humans: for example, foxes, hedgehogs, squirrels, hares, and bats are familiar to many of us. You can make the life of animals easier with many actions that also make you happier. It is such a pleasure to watch birds eating on the bird table!

Build a nest box, an insect hotel, or a bat house as an apartment for those winged animals in the garden.

This way you can support the nesting and resting of animals.

A butterfly bar can be set up on the balcony.

At the butterfly bar, you serve food to butterflies and get to observe these beautiful insects.

Winter feeding helps birds survive the cold season.

At the same time, you have a grandstand view of the birds.

Avoid robotic lawn mowers.

 They are dangerous to small animals, such as hedgehogs.

Everyone has a duty to help injured animals.

If you need advice, you can contact the municipal rescue department or animal protection advisers.

Pick up litter from nature.

Especially plastic waste can be harmful to animals.

A birdhouse in a tree in the forest.
© Riku Lumiaro

Cherish and maintain your environment

Nature conservation often requires active measures. Traditional environments, small bodies of water, and environments threatened by introduced species remain healthy and intact when they are tended to. Voluntary work in nature raises spirits and improves fitness!

Meadows and species that live in meadows need upkeep.

Environmental organisations and others organise voluntary work events where valuable meadow sites threatened by overgrowing are mowed and restored.

Take part in voluntary work to combat invasive plant species.

Cities and municipalities often point out places in need of voluntary help, for example in the fight against Himalayan balsam and garden lupin, as well as providing tools.  

Two women are carrying hay in a meadow.
By maintaining traditional landscapes, the habitats of many species can be secured. © Metsähallitus

Observe nature and make a difference

The nature observations of citizens are important. Citizens' observations are used to collect data on, for example, changes in species and the effects of climate change on the coming of spring. Knowledge of local nature plays an important role in ensuring that valuable local nature remains vital and is not overrun by construction.

Observe your local nature and report your observations to the service.

In the service, you can report, for example, introduced species and rare plants. Read more about citizen observations (Link to the Observe page).

Monitor the land use planning of your area.

If necessary, make initiatives, complaints, and requests for rectification. Many land use plans have been improved from a natural point of view thanks to active citizens.

Enjoy your public right of access but remember your responsibilities.

Enjoy your public right of access but remember your responsibilities.

Explore and observe – learn more about nature observation
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Diverse nature is adaptable

Biodiversity refers to the diversity of the Earth's species and biotic communities, as well as to the inherited variation within species. Biodiversity is nature’s immunity. It helps nature adapt to changing conditions, such as climate change and disease. Human well-being also depends on the diversity of nature.

Nature is under threat  

Finland's biodiversity continues to deteriorate. Twelve per cent of species and 48 per cent of habitat types are threatened. Loss of biodiversity is a global phenomenon, like climate change. As it progresses, it will destabilise the economy and endanger life on Earth. The main causes of biodiversity loss in Finland are changes in land use, such as forestry, agriculture, and construction, as well as random factors, pollution, and climate change.

It is, however, possible to use nature sustainably, thereby securing human well-being. Combating biodiversity loss requires a major change in the way society works. This must be reflected in all decision-making and planning. In particular, the targeting of business subsidies, agriculture and forestry, and construction require an ambitious leap towards more sustainable practices.

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Important services from nature 

Humans need nature because our society is based entirely on nature and its ecosystems. Ecosystem services refer to the free, tangible, and intangible benefits that nature provides to people. Ecosystem services are divided into four categories: production, maintenance, regulatory, and cultural services. However, nature always has a value in itself.

Ecosystem services safeguard human life
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Finnish Environment Institute (Syke)
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Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility online portal allows you to browse, search and download information about all forms of biological life, and to record and share your own observations.
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