Two new areas to join Finland’s national park network

Two new areas to join Finland’s national park network

Areas in Lapland and Kanta-Häme are currently under consideration to become Finland’s newest national parks

Over the first few months of lockdown, Finland’s national parks were flooded with people looking to get out into nature while simultaneously obeying social distancing rules and regulations. A couple of months ago Finnish authorities promised to act on expanding the country’s national park system in light of the increased interest by citizens and in order to satisfy parts of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s agenda. Now, the first results of this policy are starting to come in.

Expansion at the behest of all citizens

In the last couple of months, the Finnish Ministry of the Environment has received several proposals for the establishment of new national parks. The ministry has made a study of these, on the basis of which further work will be undertaken in the Sallatunturi and Evo forest areas.

In the case of the Sallatunturi National Park, preparations can be made immediately for the government's proposal, which could be submitted to Parliament as early as the spring of 2021. Meanwhile at Evo preparations will begin by assembling a regional working group of actors in the area, on the basis of which work will proceed.

“This year, Finns have discovered nature with unprecedented enthusiasm. Nature has brought peace during exceptional times, and the number of visitors to the national parks increased by as much as 20 percent in the early part of the year. National parks are outdoor places for every Finn, but above all, they preserve and strengthen biodiversity. As nature becomes impoverished, we need more of these oases. That is why it is great that we are now moving forward in establishing new national parks,” says Minister of the Environment and Climate Krista Mikkonen.

According to officials, the choice of the final submissions was not easy yet the creation of national parks at Sallatunturi and Evo will have the greatest impact for the time being. The two sites managed to overcome fierce competition from the Korouoma Gorge Valley, the Porkkala archipelago and the Punkaharju National Landscape and the Haarikko Forest Combined Area which also attempted to win the government’s favour.



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