Barents Protected Area Network BPAN and the Fennoscandian Green Belt were presented at COP 13 in Mexico

The thirteenth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 13) was held in Mexico from 4th to 17th of December. Implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets were considered as one of main issues at the conference. Possibilities to achieve the goals depend on national commitment as well as on the capability to engage the whole society in the protection of nature and its sustainable use.

Important part of national activities is co-operation between neighboring countries. Finland, together with Peru and Columbia organized a side event at the conference introducing international co-operation in nature conservation.

The Barents Protected Area Network and the Fennoscandian Green Belt were presented by Henna Haapala from the Ministry of the Environment of Finland to inform the participants about their best practices and experiences to develop the representative and connectivity of the transboundary protected area networks. They have successful cross-border activities between Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

The audience was interested in Finland’s upcoming role as a chair at the Arctic Council. It was greeted both for the nature protection as well as for the oceans.

During the conference Minister of Agriculture and the Environment of Finland, Kimmo Tiilikainen gave a talk at the High Level Luncheon Event on Biodiversity and Sustainable Development. He informed the participants about an official flagging day to celebrate Finnish nature on the 26th August in 2017. This will be part of Finland’s hundred years of independency celebrations and a notion that nature should be a national interest.