After two years of work by over a hundred experts the Finnish Strategy on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) has been published. The Strategy was handed over to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry on 30 March 2011, with a view to be adopted in autumn 2011.
The development of the Strategy was led by a working group of key national stakeholders and IAS specialists, including IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen. The objective of the Strategy is to minimise the risks caused by invasive species to Finnish nature and socio-economic wellbeing. In particular, the Strategy aims to enable taking action against alien species at the earliest stage possible, this way preventing the entry of new IAS into Finland and also stopping the further spread of already established IAS within the country. Such a precautionary approach seeks to ensure that negative impacts of IAS can be addressed in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
The Strategy puts forward 12 generic measures to reduce the harmful impacts of IAS in Finland. These include, for example, establishing a national IAS information portal and setting up appropriate systems for IAS early warning, monitoring and risk assessments. In addition, the Strategy outlines a set of targeted measures to prevent damage caused by IAS in different ecosystems, eg the Baltic Sea. One of these specific measures is the proposal for completely eradicating giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) from Finland within the upcoming 10 to 20 years.
The work by IEEP and associate European IAS experts played an integral role in supporting the development of the Finnish Strategy. In particular, the IEEP-led studies on the negative impacts of IAS in the EU and the possible costs and benefits associated with policy action on IAS provided an invaluable basis for estimating the socio-economic impacts of IAS measures at the national level.
Link to the Finnish Strategy on Invasive Alien Species.