Finland's Marine Strategy

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 Riku Lumiaro, Photo Bank of the Environmental Administration

Marine Strategy aims to achieve and maintain a good status of the marine environment

Finland’s Marine Strategy was prepared by the Ministry of the Environment in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The Strategy covers Finland’s territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone. Several state research institutes and agencies played a key role in the preparatory work. The European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires all EU Member States with marine waters to develop such a marine strategy.

The Marine Strategy comprises three parts and each part is updated once every six years:

  • Part 1: Initial assessment of the state of the marine environment, determination of a good status and environmental objectives with indicators (2018, previous version from 2012)
  • Part 2: Monitoring Programme for Finland’s Marine Strategy (2014, to be updated in 2020)
  • Part 3: Programme of Measures of Finland’s Marine Strategy 2016–2021 (2015, to be updated in 2021)

The Marine Strategy has been adopted by the Finnish Government. It is closely connected to river basin management plans, which cover coastal waters, lakes, rivers and groundwater.

State of the marine environment and related objectives guide the work on protecting the marine environment

The report ‘Status of Finland’s Marine Environment 2018’ presents an assessment of the state of the marine areas in 2011–2016. It also covers human-derived pressures on the marine environment, and provides updated determinations of a good status of the marine environment and environmental targets with indicators.

The Monitoring Programme for the Marine Strategy is being updated in 2020 and the Programme of Measures will be updated in 2021. When all three parts have been updated, the Government will issue a new resolution on a revised Marine Strategy of Finland in 2021.

The report ‘Status of Finland’s Marine Environment 2018’, the background material used in the revision of the first part of the Marine Strategy and feedback from the consultations and comments on these are available only in Finnish here

The Baltic Sea coastal states and the European Union cooperate on protecting the Baltic marine environment through work coordinated by the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM). In 2018, HELCOM published an assessment entitled ’State of the Baltic Sea: HELCOM holistic assessment 2011–2016’ (HOLAS II). This was the second holistic assessment of the state of the Baltic marine environment and the pressures affecting it, and it was prepared jointly by the Baltic Sea states. The EU Member States in the Baltic Sea region were able to use the results of the report when updating the initial assessments of their marine strategies. The report ‘Status of Finland’s Marine Environment 2018’ is largely based upon this second HELCOM status assessment, but more detailed information was provided with respect to marine areas in Finland.

Monitoring Programme collects information on the state of the marine environment and pressures acting on it

The Monitoring Programme for 2014–2020 consists of 39 sub-programmes under which information is collected on species, biotopes, the quality of marine water, and pressures on the marine environment. A responsible authority was appointed for each sub-programme.

The monitoring manual for Finland’s Marine Strategy provides a detailed description of the monitoring process and methods under the Monitoring Programme.

The Monitoring Programme is being updated and it should be completed in July 2020. A public hearing for comments was organised from 20 January to 20 March 2020.

Programme of Measures

The Programme of Measures includes existing and new measures to achieve and maintain a good environmental status. The implementation of the Programme is ongoing between 2016 and 2021.

The next update of the Programme of Measures is to take place in 2021.

Published 2019-01-29 at 15:38, updated 2020-07-07 at 12:08