The Finnish Inventory Programme for the Underwater Marine Environment, VELMU
Photo: Metsähallitus 2006
Background and aims
One of the main goals of the research programme for the protection of the Baltic Sea is to maintain and increase the diversity in the marine environment. The implementation of the protection programme is difficult to anticipate, as there is insufficient knowledge of the underwater marine environment and its state in general.
The Finnish Inventory Programme for the Underwater Marine Environment] (VELMU) collects data on the diversity of underwater marine biotopes and species. The inventories are being conducted in the Archipelago Sea, the Quark area, the Gulf of Finland, the Bothnian Bay and the Bothnian Sea during 2004-2014.
The information gathered under VELMU -programme will be of central importance both for the planning of nature conservation and for the exploitation of natural resources. There are people who are dependent on coastal and marine resources for living, and for them marine environment with a high diversity is necessary to support their livelihoods. The acquired information will also be used for integrated coastal zone management plans that are drawn up for coastal zones within the European Union, and for environmental impact assessments. More information on valuable nature areas is also needed for planning oil and chemical combating and clean up.
VELMU is a co-operational programme between seven ministries (internal affairs, defence, education, communication, agriculture and forestry, trade and industry and environment). The chair of the programme is Mr Ilkka Heikkinen from the Ministry of the Environment.
International conventions related to VELMU
Finland has ratified or signed international conventions. Data on the diversity of underwater marine biotopes and species are a valuable tool, or are essential for executing commitments. These are especially: the Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio Convention), the Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic and North Seas (ASCOBANS), the Bern Convention on the Conservation of Wildlife and Natural Habitats, UNESCO's World Heritage Convention, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
In addition, Finlands is committed to the EU directives and programmes such as the nature directive, the bird directive, and further the marine strategy and water frame work directive which are under preparation. The information gathered under VELMU will also be applied for reaching the objectives on the biodiversity and sustainable development of the Baltic region, different than posed by HELCOM.
The VELMU 2010 seminar was held 15.4.2010 at the premises of the Ministry of Environment. The topic was "Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) to promote sustainable use and biodiversity conservation". The VELMU 2010 seminar program.pdf (178kb) and a short summary of the presentations.doc (1 Mb) here. The presentations were partly in English and partly in Finnish:
- Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) as a key instrument for the integrated EU Maritime Policy / Jan Ekebom, EU DG Mare - Ekebom_DGMARE VELMU 2010.pdf
- Ajankohtaista merialuesuunnittelussa Itämeressä / Tiina Tihlman, ympäristöministeriö - Tihlman Velmu 2010.pdf
- Maakuntakaavat merialueilla / Anne Savola, Satakuntaliitto - Savola Velmu 2010.pdf
- ELY:t ja merialueiden suunnittelu / Outi Vesakoski, Varsinais-Suomen ELY - Vesakoski ELYt ja merialueiden suunnittelu.pdf
- Eastern Baltic Project / Georg Martin, University of Tartu, Viro - Martin presentation.pdf
- Preparation for MSP in Sweden / Cecilia Lindblad, Naturvårdsverket, Ruotsi - Lindblad for VELMU.pdf
- Itämeren hyvä ekologinen tila - miten direktiivit sitä määrittelevät? / Anna-Stina Heiskanen, SYKE - Heiskanen VELMU seminaari 2010.pdf
- Vedenalaiset uhanalaiset luontotyypit ja niiden luokittelutyö / Anita Mäkinen, Helsingin yliopisto - Mäkinen VELMU 2010.pdf
- Vieraslajit ja hyvä ekologinen tila / Maiju Lehtiniemi, SYKE - Lehtiniemi_VELMU_15042010 nettiin.pdf
- VELMU-kartoitusten tila / Kirsi Kostamo, SYKE - Kostamo VELMU_2010.pdf
- Kuva pohjasta tarkentuu monikeilaten ja kaukokartoittaen / Anu Kaskela, GTK - kaskela VELMU 2010.pdf
- NANNUT - integrating underwater information and coastal planning / Sonja Jaari, Novia - Jaari NANNUT VELMU-seminar.pdf
Kirsi Kostamo, Finnish Environment Institute,
Research Programme for the Marine Ecology and Biodiversity,
email@example.com [kirsi kostamo]
Penina Blankett, the Ministry of the Environment, firstname.lastname@example.org [penina blankett]
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