Increasingly complex global environmental problems represent major challenges for researchers. The research programmes of Finland's environmental administration examine the state of the environment, environmental trends, and the risks and opportunities associated with different types of human activity. The subjects of these programmes include climate change, the state of the Baltic Sea and Finland's inland waters, biodiversity, the risks associated with harmful substances, and housing and construction.
New comprehensive multidisciplinary approaches are now widely used alongside traditional assessments of emissions and their impacts. Environmental problems are tackled using approaches from the social sciences as well as the natural sciences.
Clear responsibilities and close co-operation
Most of the environmental administration's research is carried out by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), who also co-ordinate national environmental monitoring. Centres for economic development, transport and the environment are responsible for regional environmental monitoring. The Ministry of the Environment directs and funds research into issues related to the environment, housing, construction and planning.
Research is frequently conducted in co-operation with various research institutes in Finland and abroad. Finland particularly strives to contribute to the EU's research programmes, and to research focusing on the Nordic and Baltic regions.