Mires and wetlands

Finland’s Biodiversity Action Plan comprises five actions for mires and wetlands (actions 50–54). Two of the actions were considered to have been completed or become established practice by the end of 2018. The implementation of three other actions was still in progress, but was mostly proceeding according to schedule. 

The action for the sustainable use of peatlands refers to the Government’s resolution on the sustainable use of mires and peatlands from 2012. This action has mostly proceeded well. According to this decision, natural or almost natural mires will generally not be exploited. In accordance with the Supplementary Programme of Peatland Protection, 40 000 hectares of state-owned peatland has been protected, but the protection private lands identified in the Programme has not really proceeded (action 50; on track to completion).

The water dynamics of protected mires has attempted be improved by protecting all the edge areas of state-owned mires that were considered to affect the water flow to previously protected mires. As for private lands, only a few corresponding mires have been protected. There have been attempts to change ditch clearing at the edge of protected areas in commercial forests so that the water flow is not directed to water bodies situated downstream, but rather to the mires (action 51; on track to completion).

The transformative use of mires has been targeted at drained or otherwise altered mires. The Environmental Protection Act was amended in 2014 so that it is not allowed to start peat production on a pristine mire. Clearing peatland for cultivation is to be limited, but it cannot be totally prohibited (action 52; completed).

The implementation of the Action Plan for Wetlands has started, but it is mostly lagging behind schedule. Bird wetlands have been restored especially as a part of two EU Life projects, but the areas are still somewhat small. The national Finnish Ramsar Wetland Working Group was instated in 2013 and its work has enhanced the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in Finland (action 53; needs a boost).

The implementation of a national wetland strategy for game husbandry proceeded in 2010–2015 thanks to two EU Life projects, but after this the rate of implementation has slowed down. Two wetland subsidies are granted within the agri-environmental support scheme (action 54; established action).