% of land,  % of marine waters are covered by protected areas.
  species and   habitats are protected under EU law

Finland is a largely forested country with over 187 000 lakes and ponds, and a similar number of islands and islets, with an terrestrial area of over 33 000 km² and a marine area of over 82 000 km². It is bordered by 3 other countries. The highest point is Halti at 1 324m. Finland has a population of 5.5 million people and a population density of 18.1 people per km².

Protected areas

  Protected areas

 % of land

 % of marine waters

There are a total of   protected areas in ,   Natura 2000 sites -   Special Protection Areas (Birds Directive) and   Sites of Community Importance (Habitat Directive) - as well as   sites designated under national laws.


 % of the network is protected only through national laws

 % of the network consists solely of Natura 2000 sites

 % consist of and overlap between the two.

The average size of protected areas in Europe is lower compared to other regions of the world. This largely reflects the high degree of fragmentation of the land in Europe due to urbanisation, infrastructure and general intensification of land use. At a EU level 50% of protected areas have an area of less than 1 km². The 10 largest marine sites account for 68% of the marine area, while the 10 largest land sites account for 41% of the land area covered by protected areas

Size distribution of 's land protected areas network



Size distribution of 's marine protected areas network



Natura 2000 sites in cover   species and   habitats from the nature directives. The number of species and habitats protected in each site varies depending on the location of the site, the biodiversity in the region, the designation being used, and the features the site is being created to protect. For   sites there is only 1 feature being protected with   sites having more than 20 features.


Protected species

Species protected in under EU law are protected under the Habitats Directive and under the Birds Directive. The Habitats Directive has a total of 2 500 species on its list, the Birds Directive has a total of 500 species of wild birds protected.

  species protected under EU law in

  species are unique to

  species under the Habitats Directive

  species under the Birds Directive

Conservation status: Habitats Directive

 % of species are considered to be Good

 % of species are considered to be Poor

 % of species are considered to be Bad

 % of species are considered to be Unknown

Conservation Status by Taxa


Protected species composition by Taxa


Protected habitats

Habitats protected in under EU law are protected under the Habitats Directive. The Habitats Directive has a total of 233 habitats on its list.

  habitats protected under EU law in .

Conservation status: Habitats Directive

 % of habitats are considered to be Good

 % of habitats are considered to be Poor

 % of habitats are considered to be Bad

 % of habitats are considered to be Unknown

Conservation Status by Group

Habitat composition by Group







Read about Mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services (MAES) activities in here.


MAES in Finland:

Finland has actively participated in Esmeralda project which continues the previous ecosystem service assessment works such as TEEB for Finland study (Towards Sustainable and Genuinely Green Economy - The value and social significance of ecosystem services in Finland), and development of the Finnish Ecosystem Services Indicators – a national framework that integrates CICES classification and Cascade model; see This internet portal is gradually being developed as a Finnish National CBD Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) under the Convention on Biological Diversity. It aims at synthesizing the knowledge on the status of biodiversity, ecosystem services, and for instance, to serve as the national webpage of Nagoya Protocol on genetic resources and Cartagena Protocol on biosafety. The information processed for this portal is also the basis for national reporting to the CBD. For example, the 5th National report on the implementation of CBD Aichi targets, was compiled with the help of this portal and distributed to the CBD Secretariat in March 2014.

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Green infrastructure in Finland:

Finland has no dedicated legislation or policy for GI.

Relevant legislative framework: The Finnish regulatory system relevant for protection and management of green infrastructure consists of a set of sector specific and integrative instruments (Borgström and Similä 2014). The key mechanisms to protect and manage green infrastructure include protecting areas and habitats, directing the placement and regulating the operation of activities relevant for green infrastructure. These mechanisms are implemented through a number of legislative instruments. The key instruments for the protection of biodiversity, including the Natura 2000 network and habitat protection, can be found in the Nature Conservation Act (1096/1996, latest amended in 2016). The sector specific instruments (e.g. permits and notification systems) include regulations for agriculture, forestry, mining, land extraction and utilization of water resources. The key integrative instrument covering all sectors and activities are the planning law and its implementation mechanism (Land use and Building Act 132/1999) and the environmental impact assessment act (Act on Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure252/2017, Act on the Assessment of the Effects of Certain Plans and Programmes on the Environment 200/2005). Also national laws (Act on management of water and marine resources 2004/1299) implementing the EU water framework directive (2000/60/EC) and Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) are relevant integrative, ecosystem based instruments contributing to the protection of green infrastructure.

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National Biodiversity strategy for Finland:

To report on progress to the EU 2020 biodiversity strategy, the European Commission extracted relevant information from the EU Member States’ 5thnational reports to the CBD. Of the 5 countries which had not finalized their national reports at the time of the synthesis (26th of August 2015), Greece, Malta, Portugal and Lithuania provided information to be included in the synthesis.

The 5th national reports were examined, and relevant information on selected actions under Targets 1-6 of the EU biodiversity strategy was directly copied. Thus, the information presented here is in the original language and wording of the 5th national reports.

The focus was on information that is particular to the respective Member State rather than referencing EU wide information. In addition, only information that is not directly reported to the European Commission by Member States was retrieved from the reports. Each Member State had the opportunity to review the synthesis of its report and to provide additional input. For more information, please view here. The 5th national report for Finland can be downloaded here.

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