EU Biodiversity Strategy
The aim of the EU Biodiversity Strategy is to halt the loss of biodiversity and reserve the negative trend in biodiversity by 2030. The Member States are committed to 17 key targets to achieve this ambition.
Three of the targets concern the network of nature protection areas. These are:
- increasing the surface area protected so that a minimum of 30% of the EU’s land area and 30% of the EU’s sea area are covered by legal protection
- strictly protecting at least a third of the EU’s protected areas, including all remaining primary and old-growth forests
- more effective management of all protected areas
The remaining fourteen targets are related to improving the state of habitats in and outside protected areas. The Member States undertake to halt the decline of species and habitats listed in the annexes to the Habitats and Birds Directives by 2030 and to improve the conservation status of 30% of them.
One of the key measures related to restoration is the Commission’s legislative initiative on restoration. This is expected in March 2022.
Member States plan how to reach the targets during 2022
The Commission requires the Member States to make two commitments related to the key targets. The first commitment concerns the ways how the Member States will promote the common EU target to protect 30% of the land and sea area and to designate 10% of this to strict protection. This includes the strict protection of the remaining primary and old-growth forests. The second commitment concerns actions by the Member States to ensure the conservation status of species and habitats in the annexes to the Habitats and Birds Directives and, in addition to this, actions by which the conservation status of 30% of them will be improved.
Finland’s commitments prepared by a broad-based working group
In Finland, an important principle in reaching the targets is that the actions must be voluntary. The Helmi Habitats Restoration Programme and Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland METSO also contribute to the targets.
The project will make use of scientific research and studies and monitoring work that have been carried out. The most important ones include preliminary studies and reports on directives that have looked into the significance of the targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy in Finnish conditions, as well as assessments of threatened species and habitats.
Finland’s national commitments are prepared in cooperation with stakeholders
A working group and steering group prepared proposals for the commitments in 2022. At the moment, the Finnish Environment Institute and the Ministry of the Environment are further developing and fine-tuning the work done by the working group.
Comments on the commitments will be requested in autumn 2023. A Government Resolution will be issued on the commitments before they are sent to the EU.
Finland’s commitments will be submitted to the European Commission during 2023.