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Programme of measures of the Finnish Marine Strategy 2016–2021

Finnish marine strategy 2016-2021


The programme of measures, or the third part of the marine strategy, assesses the sufficiency of the current measures to protect the marine environment and contains 29 new ones for achieving and maintaining a good environmental status.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Coherence with other processes:
Key words:

Implementation Context

On 3 December 2015, Finland's government approved the programme of measures for the Finnish marine strategy 2016–2021. The programme of measures is the third part of the Finnish marine strategy. The definitions for the good environmental status, environmental targets, as well as an initial assessment of the state of the marine environment are all part of the first stage of the Finnish marine strategy, and a monitoring programme for the marine strategy makes up its second part. Preparation of the Finnish marine strategy has been pursuant to the Act on Water Resources Management and the Government Decree on marine resources management, and it is also part the mandatory national marine strategy required by the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

Aspects / Objectives

The programme of measures curtails the pressure people's actions have on the marine environment and improves the state of the marine environment. The objective is to maintain or achieve a good environmental status by 2020.


The programme examines the containment of eutrophication, the reduction of hazardous and harmful toxins, the conservation of biodiversity, the prevention of the spread of invasive alien species, the promotion of sustainable use and management of marine resources, a reduction in the impact of human activities on seafloors, the prevention of disturbances caused by hydrographic change and the realisation of a cut in the littering of seas and beaches, and a cut to underwater noise pollution.

Main Outputs / Results

29 new measures are presented in the Programme of measures for the Finnish marine strategy shared into 12 main categories:.

  • Reduction of nutrient loading and eutrophication
  • Reduction of hazardous and harmful substance loading
  • Sustainable use and management of marine natural resources
  • Prevention against the spread of invasive alien species
  • Reduction of pollution and littering
  • Reduction of underwater noise pollution
  • Reduction of physical damage and loss of seafloor habitats
  • Prevention of disturbances caused by hydrographic change
  • Maritime safety and risk management
  • Maritime Spatial Planning Measures
  • Enhancement of the marine protected area network and other nature conservation activities
  • Communication and guidance related to the programme

Regarding Maritime Spatial Planning, the most important existing measures for Finland include the Directive for Maritime Spatial Planning, the joint spatial planning work between countries bordering the Baltic Sea in the HELCOM-VASAB working group, and a roadmap for the implementation of maritime spatial planning drawn up by the working group, as well as realisation of Finland’s Coastal Strategy.

In Finland, existing regional plans and other plans for use of space that are based on the Land Use and Building Act currently largely meet with maritime spatial planning requirements.

The key measure for this programme is thus to integrate conservation objectives for protected marine areas into maritime spatial plans. It has been determined that the marine strategy target for maritime spatial planning can be achieved by 2020.

Costs / Funding Source

This Programme is a national one and is funded by the Finnish Government.