Europe

Finland

Situated in the boreal coniferous forest zone, Finland is surrounded by the Baltic Sea, Sweden, Norway and Russia. The northernmost part of the country lies above the Arctic Circle, whereas the southern area of the landscape is dominated by an archipelago of 179,000 islands. Between those extremes, Finland is characterised by vast forests and 188,000 lakes, which give the country the yet underestimating name of “land of the thousand lakes”.
Pallas Yllastunturi National Park, Finland

Finland hosts approximately 45,000 species of animals and plants, representing 29% of the total species described for Europe and possibly 3% of the species in the world. Of the total number of species found in the country, 21,400 have been assessed in 2010, showing that 10% of these are threatened (click here and here for the 2010 Red List of Finnish Species). 

All Europe’s large carnivores (Brown Bear, Grey Wolf, Eurasian Lynx and Wolverine) are present in Finland, and the only existing population of the endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal is also found in the country.

Finland’s first Nature Conservation Act came into effect in 1923, and first conservation efforts were put in the protection of individual species and natural monuments, and in the establishment of protected areas. Amended in 1997, the Nature Conservation Act aims at ensuring natural diversity.

Wetland, grassland and forest ecosystems are big part of Finland's landscape and need to be preserved. The Natura2000 network, with nearly 1900 areas, covers some 5 million ha of Finland’s total area of 34 million ha. The overall protected area network includes 37 national parks, 19 strict nature reserves, 12 wilderness reserves and 500 other protected areas, helping the conservation of islands, lakes, mires, forests and fell landscapes, and of the species they host. The management effectiveness of the Protected Areas system has been evaluated twice: using the IUCN Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME) framework, a comprehensive State of the Parks report was first published in 2007. A second evaluation took place in 2010.

Finland’s seven IUCN Member organisations are: Ministry of the EnvironmentWWF Finland, BirdlLife FinlandHelsinki ZooFinnish Society for Nature and EnvironmentFinnish Wildlife Agency and Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, which was one of the founders of IUCN in 1948. Finland is one of IUCN Framework Donors.

IUCN National Committee of Finland was approved by IUCN Council in 1999. Follow the National Committee on Facebook.

Latest news

  • PANORAMA: solutions to conservation problems PANORAMA: solutions to conservation problems Photo: Pixabay-lloorraa

    High Five! PANORAMA has reached 555 conservation answers, available to environmentalists around the world

    29.10.2019

    Conservationists have a community, an international space for the problems they have conquered, a way to find how others have solved their conservation conundrums, and the building blocks to answer their current and future issues. This is PANORAMA, and we celebrate reaching more than 555 comprehensive solutions stored within reach of your fingertips.

  • Guidelines for Protected Area Management and Governance - Spanish version Guidelines for Protected Area Management and Governance - Spanish version Photo: IUCN

    The world of protected areas in one book, now in Spanish

    23.10.2019

    The entirety of protected area management and governance has been available in one book since the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014, in Sydney. The Spanish version of this publication, 'Protected Area Governance and Management’, was launched in Lima, on 15 October 2019, at the third Latin American and the Caribbean Protected Areas Congress.

  • Red List of finnish species 2019 Photo: Ministry of the Environment and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)

    Red List of Finnish species - every ninth species in Finland is threatened

    10.03.2019

     A new assessment of threatened species indicates an increasing loss of biodiversity in Finnish nature. Of the 22,000 species evaluated, 11.9% were classified as threatened. The highest proportion of threatened species is found among birds and bryophytes (mosses). The primary threat is the decline and deterioration of natural habitat – urgent action is needed to stop this decline.

  • Sea Trout Photo: Miikka Pulliainen

    Restoration of Urban Longinoja Brook Wins Finnish Biodiversity Award 2017-2018

    04.03.2019

    Perseverance in the voluntary restoration of the urban brook of Longinoja in the Malmi suburb of Helsinki won the Finnish Biodiversity Award 2017-2018. The winner was chosen by the National Committee of Finland of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature. The award was given out in Helsinki on 25 February 2019 by Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing Kimmo Tiilikainen.

  • RLE Photo: Seppo Tuominen

    Finland Publishes the Most Comprehensive Red List of Ecosystems in the World

    04.03.2019

    The results of the extensive assessment for the Red List of all of Finland’s terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems were published in December 2018. The threat status of ecosystem or habitat types in Finland was now evaluated for the second time, using this time the new assessment methodology called IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Categories and Criteria.

  • Nature Days 2017 Photo: Luonnon päivät 2017

    Finnish Nature League’s Wolf Ambassadors Win Biodiversity Award 2015-2016

    07.03.2017

    The Wolf Ambassadors of the Finnish Nature League - Luonto-Liitto won the Biodiversity Award 2015-2016 of the IUCN National Committee of Finland. The Wolf Ambassadors were awarded on 7 February 2017 in Helsinki.

  • Summer Northern Lights in Oulu Photo: Flickr/Visit Finland

    Finland to host the next IUCN Regional Conservation Forum for Europe, North and Central Asia

    27.03.2015

    IUCN officially announces Helsinki, Finland, as the host of the 2015 Regional Conservation Forum for Europe, North and Central Asia, from 14 to 17 December 2015.

  • Saimaa Ringed Seal in Ice Hole Photo: Mervi Kunnasranta

    IUCN National Committee Finland: Artificial Snow to Safeguard Saimaa Ringed Seal Nesting Gets Biodiversity Award 2013-2014

    05.12.2014

    The Biodiversity Award for 2013-2014 goes to the voluntary work to safeguard the nesting of Saimaa Ringed Seal by covering the nests with artificial snow. Nature education for children gets an honorary award.

  • Applying IUCN Protected Area Management Categories in Finland Photo: Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Services

    Applying IUCN Protected Area Management Categories in Finland

    03.04.2014

    Summary based on the original Finnish document approved by the Ministry of the Environment. Edited by Mervi Heinonen, Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Services. Final version approved by the National IUCN Committee of Finland, June 17th, 2013.

  • Holes in the ice offer breathing breaks for Saimaa Ringed Seal Photo: Mervi Kunnasranta

    Finland, land of a thousand lakes

    14.02.2014

    Situated in the boreal coniferous forest zone, Finland is surrounded by the Baltic Sea, Sweden, Norway and Russia. The northernmost part of the country lies above the Arctic Circle, whereas the southern area of the landscape is dominated by an archipelago of 179,000 islands. Between those extremes, Finland is characterised by vast forests and 188,000 lakes, for which the country is dubbed the land of a thousand lakes. 

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