Management of water resources and marine environments in Finland

Water resources management

The aim of water resources management is to secure and maintain a good status of surface waters and groundwater. In Mainland Finland there are seven water resources regions for the planning and implementation of the management operations. The work is led by the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

The measures needed to achieve a good status of waters are described in the river basin management plans adopted by the Government and action programmes included in these. The implementation of the action programmes is monitored very closely.

The EU Water Framework Direct obliges all Member States to draw up river basin management plans for their territories. Cooperation between the EU Member States takes place under a common implementation strategy. The European Commission draws up assessment reports on the progress made in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in different Member States on a regular basis.

In Finland provisions on water resources management are laid down in Act on the Organisation of River Basin Management and the Marine Strategy (1299/2004), Government Decree on Water Resources Management (1040/2006) and Government Decree on Water Resources Management Regions (1303/2004).

Water resources management work is led by the Ministry of the Environment, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The competent water resources management authorities are the regional Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. Many different authorities and research institutes participate in water resources management.

Marine environment management

Marine environment management aims at a good status of the marine environment – achieving and maintaining this. Detailed specifications have been drawn up for the good status of the marine environment and general objectives have been set to achieve this.

The EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) obliges Finland and other coastal Member States to draw up marine strategies for their marine areas. In Finland provisions on marine environment management are laid down in Act on the Organisation of River Basin Management and the Marine Strategy (1299/2004) and Government Decree on the Organisation of the Development and Implementation of the Marine Strategy (980/2011).

Various kinds of indicators are used to monitor the status of the marine environment and assessment reports on the situation are published on a regular basis. The implementation of the programme of measures concerning the marine areas that aims to improve and maintain the status is monitored closely.

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission HELCOM is the international forum for cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.

Marine environment management work in Finland is led by the Ministry of the Environment, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Ministry of Transport and Communications. Many different authorities and research institutes participate in marine environment management.

More information about water resources management

Antton Keto, ohjelmapäällikkö 
Ministry of the Environment, Department of the Natural Environment 0295250148  


Juhani Gustafsson, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of the Environment, Department of the Natural Environment, Vedet ja meret 0295250338  

More information about marine environment management

Maria Laamanen, ympäristöneuvos 
Ministry of the Environment, Department of the Natural Environment, Vedet ja meret 0295250359  


Jan Ekebom, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of the Environment, Department of the Natural Environment, Vedet ja meret 0295250363