Genetic diversity

Finland’s Biodiversity Action Plan comprises eleven actions for genetic diversity (actions 86–96). Six of these actions address genetic resources, while the other fivefocus on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Finland has implemented well the administrational actions for genetic diversity obliged by international conventions. Three actions related to the protection of genetic resources in natural habitats and the monitoring of GMOs need a boost.

The necessary jurisdiction of the protection and use of genetic resources was examined in 2017 and the subsequent legislative drafting process is to be competed in 2019. The new national Genetic Resources Action Plan was published in 2018. The protection and use of original animal breeds and plant varieties is funded by the Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland 2014–2020 (action 86; established practice).

The protection strategy for crop wild relatives was completed in 2014. At the moment, an action plan for implementing the strategy is being prepared, but the protection of plant species in their natural habitat has not started as planned (action 87; needs a boost).

The protection of the genetic diversity of trees has been established as a statutory obligation, but the scarcity of funds restricts the implementation of the action. Finland has 44 gene reserve forests (action 88; needs a boost).

The genetic diversity of theatened fish species is conserved as a part of the fish farming activities of the Natural Resources Institute Finland. In 2018, an action programme for fish genetic diversity was initiated to fulfil the national Genetic Resources Action Plan with respect to fishes (action 89; on track to completion).

The genetic diversity of fish stocks is monitored by the Natural Resources Institute Finland. A stimulatory cultivation method has been developed for fish farms to improve the reintroduction of captive fish into the wild (action 90; on track to completion).

Research on the risk assessment of GMOs and the preparation of guidelines has been conducted by the Finnish Environment Institute, but so far there have been few applications related to the subject (action 91; on track to completion).

Only a few indicators for monitoring GMOs have been developed (action 92; needs a boost).

The Finnish Environment Institute investigates the safety of GMOs. In 2018, the potential dispersal of genetically modified rape seed into the wild was assessed (action 93; on track to completion).
The Government’s proposal on restricting the cultivation of GMOs was handed to the Parliament of Finland in 2018 and the related Act will come into force in 2020 (action 94; completed).

Finland ratified the Nagoya - Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in 2015 (action 95; completed).

Finland implemented the Nagoya Protocol and the related EU Genetic Resources Decree by creating national legislation in 2016. In the previous year, a report on the Finnish genetic resources was published to aid the legislative drafting procedure (action 96; completed).