Organisation and management of the Ministry of the Environment
At the Ministry of the Environment matters are prepared by the Department of the Natural Environment, Department of the Built Environment and Environmental Protection Department, and by two support functions, one for Administration and International Affairs and one for Information and Communications.
The ministry is headed by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, with the Permanent Secretary as the highest public official.
The Permanent Secretary holds the highest position within the ministry. The Permanent Secretary assists the ministers in directing, developing and supervising the activities of the ministry and its administrative branch.
The Permanent Secretary
- directs the ministry's activities and strategic planning
- coordinates the implementation of the ministry's strategy
- is responsible for internal control
- directs performance guidance within the administrative sector.
Departments and support functions of the Ministry of the Environment
The ministry’s departments are headed by Directors General. The support functions are headed by the Director General for Administration and International Affairs and the Director of Communications and Information Management.
Department of the Natural Environment
The Department of the Natural Environment is responsible for
- nature conservation
- landscape management
- recreational use of natural areas
- protection of surface water and groundwater
- ecological sustainability and environmental protection in agriculture and forestry, extraction of earth materials, and other use of rural areas and natural resources
- environmental impact assessments
- regional cooperation in environmental protection projects.
Department of the Built Environment
The Department of the Built Environment is responsible for guidance and development of land use, housing and building, as well as matters concerning
- regional and urban structure
- land use planning
- land policy
- community infrastructure
- quality, functionality and efficiency of building
- quality of living environment and housing
- maintenance of housing stock
- renovation building
- management of cultural environments
- protection of buildings
- building supervision
- healthiness and safety of communities and buildings
- noise abatement
- support for the production, repair and acquisition of housing
- housing costs and financing.
Environmental Protection Department
The Environmental Protection Department is responsible for matters concerning
- air protection
- climate change
- sustainable consumption and production
- waste issues
- prevention of environmental harm associated with chemicals and nano- and biotechnologies
- soil contamination
- prevention of and compensation for environmental damage
- environmental economics
- environmental technology.
Administration and International Affairs
The Administration and International Affairs at the Ministry of the Environment is responsible for
- administration and its development
- steering of the administrative branch
- operational and financial planning and steering
- human resources
- coordination of the ministry's multilateral cooperation, the European Union's external relations in environmental issues, and regional, Nordic and bilateral cooperation
- coordination of the environmental policy of the European Union and preparation of Community legislation in cooperation with the ministry’s departments and support functions
- preparation and implementation of international agreements within the ministry's field of activities in cooperation with the departments and support functions
- other administrative affairs.
Information and Communications
The Information and Communications at the Ministry of the Environment is responsible for the ministry’s external and internal communications in cooperation with the ministry’s departments and units. It is also responsible for the information management projects and systems of the ministry and the environmental sector and participates in guidance and cooperation relating to information management in public administration.
The Research Director is responsible for coordinating the ministry’s research and development activities in cooperation with the Permanent Secretary, departments and support functions. The Research Director also assists the ministry’s management in evaluating the needs for research and analyses, monitoring of projects, and impact assessments.
Director of Legislative Affairs
The Director of Legislative Affairs is responsible for coordinating the preparation, development and implementation of legislation at the Ministry of the Environment in cooperation with the Permanent Secretary and the ministry's departments and units. The Director of Legislative Affairs assists the management in evaluating the need for law drafting and in the follow-up and impact assessment of legislative projects, as well as participates in major legislative projects where considered necessary and sees to the ministry’s joint coordination tasks.
Director for Development
The Director for Development is responsible for monitoring and coordinating the implementation of the Government Programme in cooperation with the Permanent Secretary and the ministry’s departments and units. The Director for Development assists the ministry’s management in strategic planning, guidance and development and in monitoring the implementation of the strategy, as well as participates in the ministry’s key development projects where considered necessary and sees to the ministry’s joint coordination tasks.