Experiential relationship to nature

38) Explore ways to maintain citizens’ active relationship with the natural world and how to transfer this to new generations. Strengthen the idea of the outdoor activities and recreation as integral to the Finnish identity, and emphasise the positive health impacts derived from the natural environment and its recreational use.

Responsible institutions: Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Schedule: 2013–2020

Status in 2018:  The first Finnish Nature Day was celebrated in 2013. Celebrated on the last Saturday of August, this event has quickly become a national celebration day involving hundreds of smaller events. The day was an official Flag Day for the first time in 2017.

In 2017, the 100th anniversary of independence, there were four Nature Days in total. There were over 1000 events during these days in different parts of Finland with approximately 300 000 people participating. This series of events commemorating the 100th anniversary of Finland became the biggest and most far-reaching public event with a nature theme in the history of Finland, and it may have caused lasting changes in the public opinion, thus fulfilling the first objective of the Biodiversity Action Plan. In June 2017, the inauguration of the Hossa National Park was a significant communicative event, which widely promoted the importance of protected areas.

Information on the positive health impacts of forests have been gathered in research projects and practical tests. For example, the result of the project Argumenta was published under the name Nature for your health in February 2015. The Finnish Forest Research Institute published the book Well-being from the forest in autumn 2014, and Metsähallitus conducted some practical tests as a part of their project OpenAir.

The Finnish Nature Centre Haltia was opened in May 2013.

Further information: The Finnish Nature Day https://www.suomenluonnonpaiva.fi/home-en-us/