The value and social significance of ecosystem services in Finland (TEEB for Finland)

The report presents the results of a national assessment into the socio-economic importance of ecosystem services in Finland. The project 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. The key objective of the study is to outline a systematic approach to the integration of natural capital (biodiversity and ecosystem services) into all levels of decision making in Finland while closely following the assessment frameworks set by the international TEEB studies (e.g. TEEB Nordic) and the EU initiative on Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES).

TEEB for Finland provides a review of the country’s most relevant ecosystem services, exploring the main drivers affecting the provisioning of these services and the methods for assessing their current status and future trends. To support this, the report provides an initial set of national indicators for ecosystem services and outlines concrete opportunities for the spatial visualization and mapping of services.

The study also considers a number of aspects related to the sustainable management of ecosystem services. It explores possible elements for improving the national regulatory and management systems for ecosystem services, including existing and new legislation, payments for ecosystem services (PES) and habitat banking. Furthermore, the study includes a scoping assessment of opportunities for natural capital accounting in Finland and it also reviews the relationship between ecosystem services and a Green Economy.

The assessment concludes that ecosystem services should play an integral part in the sustainable use of natural resources in Finland, this way helping to form basis for Green and Blue Growth. It states that considering the value of ecosystem services in the decision-making process will ensure a more holistic approach to natural resource and land-use planning which in turn will result in more cost-effective policy solutions and cost savings. It will also boost the creation of new enterprises and green jobs while enhancing the quality of life and human well-being.

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