Development of Finland's marine strategy

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 Riku Lumiaro, Photo Bank of the Environmental Administration

Aiming for a good status of the Baltic Sea

The Finland’s Marine Strategy required by the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive aims to achieve a good status of the Baltic Sea by 2020. The Marine Strategy was prepared by the Ministry of the Environment together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Transport and Communications and it covers Finland’s territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone. Several state research institutes and agencies had a key role in the strategy work.

The Marine Strategy is comprised of three parts that are updated every six years:

  • Part 1: Assessment of the current state of the marine environment, definitions for a good status and general environmental objectives, and indicators (2018, previous version from 2012)

  • Part 2: Monitoring Programme for Finland’s Marine Strategy (2014, to be revised in 2020)

  • Part 3: Programme of Measures of Finland’s Marine Strategy 2016–2021 (2015, to be revised in 2021)

The Marine Strategy has been adopted by the Finnish Government. The Marine Strategy is closely linked to river basin management which comprises the coastal waters, lakes, rivers and groundwater.

Information on the state of the marine environment guides work on the Marine strategy

The report ‘Status of Finland’s marine environment 2018’ presents a revised and updated assessment of the state of the marine areas in 2011–2016. The assessment also covers the pressures on the marine environment, revised definitions for a good status of the marine environment, and general objectives and indicators for these.

The report updates the first part of Finland’s Marine Strategy, published in 2012. The Monitoring Programme for the Marine Strategy will be updated in 2020 and the Programme of Measures in 2021. When all three parts have been revised and updated, the Government should give a new resolution on the revised Marine Strategy of Finland in 2021.

The report ‘Status of Finland’s marine environment 2018’, background material used in the revision of the first part of the Marine Strategy and feedback from consultations and comments on these:

  • Status of Finland’s marine environment 2018 (pdf; in Finnish)

  • Background document 1: Definitions for a good status of the marine environment (pdf; in Finnish

  • Background document 2: Revision of the general objectives of the Marine Strategy and indicators relating to these (pdf; in Finnish)
  • Background document 3: Economic benefits associated with the achievement of a good status of the marine environment (pdf; in Finnish)
  • Feedback from consultations on the draft for the update of the first part of Finland’s Marine Strategy and how this was taken into account (pdf; in Finnish)

In 2018 the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission HELCOM published an assessment entitled State of the Baltic Sea: HELCOM holistic assessment 2011–2016. This was the second comprehensive assessment of the state of the Baltic marine environment and the pressures affecting it, prepared jointly by the Baltic Sea states. The EU Member States in the Baltic Sea region may use the report when updating the information on the state of the marine environment in their Marine Strategies. The report ‘Status of Finland’s marine environment 2018’ is largely constructed upon this HELCOM HOLAS status assessment, but more detailed information is provided with respect to marine areas in Finland’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.

The links below take you to the first part of Finland’s Marine Strategy adopted in 2012 and its background material. These are now replaced by the report ‘Status of Finland’s marine environment 2018’ and its background material.

  • Government Resolution (2012) on the assessment of the current state and a good status of the marine environment and establishing environmental objectives and indicators; first part of Finland’s Marine Strategy (pdf; in Finnish)

  • Assessment of the current state of the marine environment, definition of a good status and establishing environmental objectives and indicators (pdf; in Finnish)

  • Introduction and special characteristics (pdf, 6.3 Mt; in Finnish)

  • Habitats, biological communities and protected areas (pdf, 1.4 Mt; in Finnish)

  • Biological communities on the seabed and in the water column (pdf, 3.6 Mt; in Finnish)

  • Biological communities on the seabed and in the water column (pdf, 3.6 Mt; in Finnish)

  • Pressures caused by human activity, part 2 (pdf, 3.2 Mt; in Finnish)

  • Socioeconomic analysis (pdf, 3.8 Mt; in Finnish)

Monitoring programme to collect information on the state of marine environment and pressures on this

The Monitoring Programme is comprised of 39 sub-programmes where information is collected on species, biotopes, the quality of marine water, and pressures on the marine environment. A responsible authority has been appointed for each sub-programme.

The monitoring manual for Finland’s Marine Strategy provides a detailed description of the monitoring process and the Monitoring Programme.

Programme of Measures of the Marine Strategy

The Programme of Measures 2016–2020 assesses the sufficiency of the current measures to protect the marine environment and proposes new measures to achieve and maintain a good environmental status. 

  • Action to heal the Baltic Sea (Ministry of the Environment, factsheet, 2016; in Finnish)

  • Programme of measures of the Finnish marine strategy 2016–2021 (summary, PDF)
    • Background report of the Programme of Measures of Finland’s Marine Strategy (pdf; in Finnish

    • Background document: Trend in nutrient loading and need to reduce this, 16 December 2015 (pdf; in Finnish)

    • Feedback from consultations on the proposal for the Programme of Measures of Finland’s Marine Strategy (pdf; in Finnish)

The progress in implementing the Programme of Measures is monitored, with the next update to take place in 2021.

Published 2019-01-29 at 15:38, updated 2019-01-29 at 15:38