Nature conservation areas
The purpose of nature conservation areas is to safeguard the biodiversity of species and habitats. Nature conservation areas also contribute to the preservation of national landscapes, cultural heritage and recreation and hiking areas.
National parks and strict nature reserves
National parks and strict nature reserves constitute the backbone of the Finnish network of nature conservation areas. The total surface area of the 40 national parks in Finland is 1,003,300 hectares.
Natura 2000 network
The total surface area of lands and waters included in the Natura 2000 network covers about five million hectares. Of this area, about three quarters is land and about one quarter is covered with water. The total number of sites is 1,866.
The purpose of the 12 wilderness areas established in northern Finland is to preserve the wilderness character of the areas, protect the Saami culture and nature-based livelihoods, and promote a diverse use of the natural environment.
Nature conservation on private lands
A landowner can sell a site to the State at current price or designate it as a nature conservation area and receive compensation for this. There are almost 7,800 nature conservation areas on private lands.
Landscape management areas
The purpose of landscape management areas is to cherish natural and cultural landscapes and the historical features particular to the sites. Landscape management areas are established in close cooperation with local stakeholders, such as village associations and municipalities.
The Ramsar Convention protects wetlands, the most threatened habitats in the world. The sites include mires, bird lakes, gulfs and archipelago areas that are important for waterfowl.
Natural monuments are protected natural formations. Natural formations may be protected due to their beauty, rarity, scenic relevance or scientific value.
National urban parks
The aim of national urban parks is to preserve urban natural and built cultural environments as extensive and integrated entities. In Finland there are ten national urban parks.
Biosphere sites are model areas for sustainable development that combine the protection of the biodiversity of habitats, sustainable use of natural resources and environmental research. In Finland there are two biosphere sites.