METSO programme

45) Implement the measures included in the Forest Biodiversity Programme for Southern Finland (METSO) and secure funding for the METSO programme, in accordance with the Government Programme. Finalise the interim assessment of METSO and revise the METSO programme insofar as necessary.

Responsible institutions: Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Schedule: 2013–2020


Status in 2018: As a result of the METSO programme, about 62 200 hectares of private forest had been protected by the end of 2017. Thus, about 65 per cent of the final protection goal of 96 000 hectares had been achieved. This figure takes into account the METSO implementation of the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) in 2008 - 2017 (49 200 ha), and the METSO protection of 13 000 hectares of state-owned forests implemented by Metsähallitus in 2014.

In 2008–2014, the area of annually protected private land increased from a little over 2 000 hectares to 8000 hectares, but after that it decreased to 3 500 hectares by the end of 2017 (Figure 1). The final goal for the METSO programme should be achieved by 2025. However, budget cuts in the programme hamper achieving the final goal in time.

In addition to the regional protection work funded by the Ministry of the Environment, the METSO programme involves agreements on environmental aid and projects in nature conservation, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. As a part of these projects, 41 000 hectares had been protected out of the final goal of 82 000 hectares by the end of 2017.

In total, the METSO programme has been funded with 311 million euros by the end of 2017 (Figure 2). If the appropriations for the programme paid by the Ministry of the Environment were not increased after 2019, then 93 per cent of the final goal for protection would be achieved. As for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the deficit is higher: With the current amount of funding, about 79 per cent of the final goal would be achieved.

The principal decision on the METSO programme issued by the Finnish Government has been revised in 2014. The implementation of the programme will continue until 2025 according to this decision. The interim report of the METSO programme is to be published in 2018.


Figure 1. The area of protected private land as a result of the METSO programme 2009-2017 (the METSO implementation of ELY centres).


Figure 2. The annual funding of the METSO programme starting from 2018. Figures for 2018 and 2019 are estimates.

Further information: The website of the METSO programme