Preparedness for coronavirus in the administrative branch of the Ministry of the Environment
The Ministry of the Environment and agencies and institutes in its administrative branch are following the coronavirus situation and its impacts on construction, housing production, waste and wastewater management, etc. very closely. The Ministry of the Environment and agencies and institutes under it are prepared to react fast should further measures be required due to the spread of the coronavirus.
So far, the environmental administration has maintained its good operational capacity. However, the whole administrative branch is preparing for changes ahead by prioritising its tasks and planning the relevant deputising arrangements.
Crisis group of the Ministry of the Environment monitors the coronavirus situation
The Ministry has set up a crisis group to lead the preparedness work relating to the coronavirus situation. The crisis group is chaired by Permanent Secretary Juhani Damski.
Led by the crisis group, the administrative branch of the Ministry of the Environment:
- makes preparations to maintain functions that are critical to society, including waste and wastewater management. The Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Social Affairs and Health are drafting recommendations for the organisation of waste management during an epidemic caused by the coronavirus.
- monitors and assesses the indirect impacts of the coronavirus on construction, including with respect to the availability of workforce and construction products. The Ministry has set up a working group that will follow the situation in the housing and construction sectors, together with relevant partners and operators, and give proposals for necessary measures.
- monitors and assesses the access to financing and how it works especially with respect to social housing production.
- prepares practical guidance for the units managing environmental affairs at the Regional State Administrative Agencies and Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment concerning measures to deal with the coronavirus situation.
Efforts will be made to continue the legislative work at the Ministry of the Environment in the coming weeks as planned, but due to the Government’s decisions to control the spread of the coronavirus it may be difficult to organise open and broad stakeholder and public consultations on legislative projects.
Director of Communications and Information Management
Ministry of the Environment
tel. +358 295 250 263
Monitoring and action group for the construction sector monitors the impacts of the coronavirus
If the state of emergency continues for a long time, it may have unforeseeable impacts on the construction sector. This is why the Ministry of the Environment has set up a working group to monitor and mitigate the impacts of the emergency situation on the construction sector and its businesses and on the national economy. The group will produce current updates of the trends in the sector, assess the future developments, and give proposals for actions that will be needed. The working group has representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT, and Finnish Association of Building Owners and Construction Clients RAKLI. The working group is chaired by Director General Teppo Lehtinen from the Ministry of the Environment.
Senior Ministerial Adviser
Ministry of the Environment
tel. +358 295 250 177
Sustainable recovery working group
Sustainable recovery working group discusses and proposes measures that will promote the economic recovery while also responding to the climate crisis and decline in biodiversity. The group submits its proposals to the working group on the coronavirus exit and reconstruction strategy of the Prime Minister’s Office. The group is chaired by Permanent Secretary Juhani Damski from the Ministry of the Environment and Director Mari Pantsar from the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.
Ministry of the Environment
Preparedness for coronavirus at the Finnish Environment Institute
The Finnish Environment Institute has defined its critical tasks and how these are to be secured to prepare for the coronavirus situation. The preparedness group of the Finnish Environment institute monitors the situation on a daily basis.
Impacts of the coronavirus at the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland ARA
The services of the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland ARA will continue also in the present emergency conditions. Applications for financial support will be processed, decisions will be made and digital services will continue as usual.
- Housing Finance and Development Centre ARA: ARA continues to serve in emergency conditions (in Finnish)
Impacts of the coronavirus at the National Parks of Finland
- In national parks and other nature sites, guided tours and events will be permitted for groups of less than 50 people from 1 June onwards.
- Metsähallitus will open its rental, reservation and wilderness huts on 1 June. Reservations for summers 2020 and 2021 can be made from 27 May onwards. Metsähallitus will reduce the number of beds in reservable huts in order to enable safe distances between the customers.
Now that many events and free-time activities have been cancelled, the numbers of visitors at nature sites have grown and some of them may even be crowded. Outdoor activities in the natural environment is good for wellbeing also now when the coronavirus restricts what we can do, but large crowds of people should be avoided. It is advisable to use nearby forests and less popular destinations for outdoor recreation.
Updates on guidance by the National Parks Finland for the coronavirus situation is available at Nationalparks.fi web service.
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare: Coronavirus COVID-19 – Latest Updates
Government: Information and advice on the coronavirus
Telephone service at +358 295 535 535 provides general advice on the coronavirus on weekdays at 8–21 and on Saturdays at 9–15. Telephone advice also via text messages is available at +358 50 902 0163.