Finland launches its ecosystem service assessment

Finland joins the ranks of countries that have carried out a dedicated assessment of their ecosystem services. A study assessing the value and social significance of ecosystem services in Finland (TEEB for Finland) was launched on the 21 January. The study was financed by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment and led by the Finnish Environment Institute in cooperation with IEEP and a number of national research institutes.

Like similar studies elsewhere, the assessment concludes that ecosystem services underpin the country's social and economic well-being and therefore they should form the basis for the transition to a green economy in Finland. One of the key novelties of the study is the introduction of a comprehensive set of national indicators currently being developed with a view to monitoring and indicating the status and value of ecosystem services. These indicators will play a key role in enhancing the integration of natural capital into the Finnish national accounting systems. One area foreseen for future work is to focus on aligning more closely the ongoing work on indicators with the existing framework of national and environmental-economic accounts.

On the day of its launch, the report was received by the Finnish Minister of the Environment Ms Sanni Grahn-Laasonen who supported its main findings, stating that the integration of knowledge on ecosystem services into a green economy helps to ensure that the green economy is both environmentally and socially sustainable. She also emphasized that considering ecosystem services in policy-making can have several positive outcomes, including improving natural resource and land use planning, creating cost savings, boosting innovative enterprises and other job-creating actions, and enhancing sustainable livelihoods.

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