Water resources management plans

66) Implement regional water resources management plans and action plans, and the National Programme for the Implementation of River Basin Management Plans for inland and coastal waters, including quantitative objectives.

  1. In connection with the revision of water resources management plans and action plans for the following water resources management period, particular attention will be paid to the objectives of conserving biodiversity and sustainable use.
  2. Initiate restoration projects to promote biodiversity in water bodies, in accordance with the water resources restoration strategy.
  3. Prepare and initiate a restoration strategy and programme for small water bodies, as part of the national plan for the implementation of water resources management.
  4. Assess the biodiversity of inland water ecosystems, particularly as concerns underwater habitats and species.
  5. Improve cooperation between water resources and nature conservation sectors, and enhance research into water resources management, with emphasis on the catchment basin as a whole.
Responsible institutions: Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Schedule: 2013–2020


Status in 2018: The European Commission issued 12 million euros for the Freshabit LIFE IP Project (2016–2022), aiming to preserve the water resources. The project is a significant initiative to protect and sustainably use the biodiversity of inland waters.

For the second term, biodiversity will be better emphasised in the water management plans. The work has begun, but it proceeds slowly. In accordance with the principles and guidelines of the Ramsar Convention, the objectives of water management and biodiversity have been integrated in the Freshabit Project. The aim is to apply the best results of the project in water management plans. 

In the recommendations for water management plans for 2016–2021, the habitats and species directly dependent on Natura areas and the related actions have been addressed. Furthermore, it has been discussed whether the number of areas classified as protected inland waters in Natura areas should be increased from about 300 areas by a third.

Restoration projects for small inland waters have been planned and started as far as the resources have allowed. Through the water restoration nerwork, the participation of other actors outside of the water administration has been improved. The proposal for the strategy for the protection and restoration of small inland waters has been completed. The thematic framework on birds and fish has yielded new interesting results on the benefits of water restoration for biodiversity.

The inland water subtheme of the Freshabit Project has investigated underwater habitats in Puruvesi, Etelä-Konnevesi and Päijänne. The aim is to find common practices for classifying habitats. The Freshabit Project has generated an operating model for the reporting water management plans and nature directives. In Puruvesi, an extensive investigation on the reconciliation of the partially conflicting objectives of water management and nature conservation, also including the management of the areas lying upstream. 

Further information: Freshabit LIFE IP Project – Co-operation to Maintain Our Water Heritage http://www.metsa.fi/web/en/freshabit