Alien species are species that have spread to a new area through human action, either intentionally or unintentionally. Some invasive alien species have become established in Finland, causing economic, environmental, social and health-related impacts. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is responsible for the overall coordination of alien species matters in Finland, such as implementing the National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species and developing legislation in the field.
Finland’s National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species helps prevent the damages and risks that invasive alien species cause to the Finnish nature, the sustainable use of natural resources, livelihoods and the well-being of people and the society at large. The strategy was adopted by a government resolution on 15 March 2012. It identifies Finland’s invasive alien species and potentially or locally harmful alien species.
The national alien species portal Vieraslajit.fi enables citizens to recognise alien species and report their observations. The portal includes information on and pictures of alien species, maps of their ranges and instructions on combating them.
The Finnish Advisory Board for Invasive Alien Species, appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, is Finland’s national expert body in matters concerning invasive alien species. Its key tasks include monitoring the distribution and harmful impacts of invasive alien species and following and coordinating the implementation of the National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species.
The EU Regulation on invasive alien species was adopted in September 2014. Its aim is to reduce the environmental, social and economic damage caused by alien species and to prevent new invasive alien species from spreading to the EU territory. The measures introduced by the regulation are targeted at the most harmful invasive alien species.
The international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) also contributes to combating invasive alien species. One of the targets of the Convention is that by 2020 invasive alien species and their pathways are identified and prioritised and particularly harmful alien species are controlled.