Fennoscandian Green Belt

102) In cooperation with Russia and Norway, Finland will promote the formation of the cross-border Fennoscandian Green Belt.

  • Initiate conservation biology research and development projects related to the formation of the Fennoscandian Green Belt, including climate change and the related changes in habitats and species, and the spread of invasive alien species. Continue active international cooperation in research and between experts in preparing adaptation strategies for the northern boreal coniferous forest belt and possible regional strategies for the Baltic Sea area.
  • Establish the Kalevala park on the Finnish side and prepare a plan for the protected areas of the Fennoscandian Green Belt in Finland, as part of legislative drafting. Continue and strengthen park twinning cooperation and apply for funding, for example, from the European Union, for implementing these projects.
  • Establish a national working group to promote the Fennoscandian Green Belt and its activities
  • Initiate a joint expert cooperation working group and network for Finland, Norway and Russia to coordinate initiatives and cooperation related to the Fennoscandian Green Belt, and to maintain contacts with the European Green Belt
  • Encourage regional councils and local actors to participate in the enhancement of cooperation related to the Fennoscandian Green Belt. Encourage local actors to initiate regional development and nature tourism projects related to the Green Belt.
Responsible institutions: Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Schedule: 2013–2020

Status in 2018: The European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) has granted funds for several research and development projects of the Fennoscandian Green Belt in autumn 2018. Since the project are about to begin, their results cannot be assessed yet.

Major steps forward have been taken especially on the Russian side in constructing the Fennoscandian Green Belt thanks to the foundation of the Ladoga National Park (1 220 km2) and the Nature park of the Eastern Gulf of Finland (140 km2) at the end of 2017, and the opening of the Hiipinä National Park (848 km2) in Murmansk in February 2018. In Finland, the decree on the foundation of the Kalevala Park was issued in March 2014. The park consists of 22 areas previously reserved for protection or existing protected areas in the Hossa area in Suomussalmi. The total area of the park is almost 430 km2. The old hiking area of Hossa was transformed into a national park in June 2017.

The national working group of the Fennoscandian Green Belt has been instated and works actively. Together with Norwegian and Russian actors, a joint network of the Fennoscandian Green Belt has been founded through strategic funds from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. During the first phase of the development project of the Fennoscandian Green Belt in 2013–2015, a development strategy was devised for the Green Belt, which has been implemented afterwards. The actors of the Fennoscandian Green Belt have participated in the development of the European Green Belt and other mutual projects.

All municipalities at the eastern border are represented in the national working group of the Fennoscandian Green Belt, and further collaboration with the municipalities is being prepared.

Further information: Green Belt of Fennoscandia http://www.ym.fi/en-US/International_cooperation/Green_Belt_of_Fennoscandia