Finland's National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species

The objective of Finland’s National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species, adopted by the Government on 15 March 2012 as a Government Resolution, is to prevent the damage and risks caused by invasive species to Finnish nature, while promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, trade and industry, socio-economic wellbeing and the wellbeing of people. The goal of the Strategy is to minimise the risk of invasive alien species already established in Finland or that have a probability of being introduced to Finland.

The measures proposed in the Strategy address invasive alien species introduced to Finland by human action, intentionally or unintentionally, which are spreading uncontrollably and causing harmful impacts. The purpose of the Strategy is to prevent the introduction to Finland of new, invasive alien species that spread uncontrollably.

The Strategy includes extensive background material and an Action Plan.

Niemivuo-Lahti, Johanna (ed.) 2012. Finland's National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 126 pagescover image (PDF)  ISBN 978-952-453-726-1 | (original source, referenced 2016-05-17)

Based on the proposal prepared by the working group on a National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species. The proposal for Finland's National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species was prepared in collaboration between a broadly-based working group and experts, involving a total of more than 100 people. 


The objective of the National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) is to reduce the damages and risks caused by invasive species to the Finnish nature, sustainable utilisation of natural resources and livelihoods. The aim is to take action at the earliest stage possible with a view to combat invasive alien species because this is the most effective and far less costly approach to prevent damages caused by IAS.

According to estimates by experts, in the beginning of 2011 there were a total of 157 IAS permanently established in Finland which cause clearly identifiable, direct or indirect damage. A significant share of these species (108 species) are agricultural and forestry species. Of the remaining species 5 occur in the territorial waters of Finland in the Baltic Sea, 5 in inland waters, 6 are land vertebrates, 24 are plant species and 9 are indoor pests. In addition, about 123 species not native to Finland to be monitored or which may be locally harmful were identified. Invasive alien species defined as particularly harmful include, besides the dangerous pests called quarantine species (37 species), Japanese rose (Rosa rugosa), crayfish plague (Aphanomyces astaci), giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum, H. persicum, H. sosnowskii), Spanish slug (Arion lusitanicus) and mink (Mustela vison).

Action is required to reduce the harmful impacts of invasive alien species. The Action Plan of Finland’s National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species puts forward 16 different types of measures. These include comprehensive legislation on IAS, establishing an expert body to monitor and promote the actions in IAS, introducing publicity and training measures concerning IAS, setting up a national IAS portal, and creating a system for early warning and monitoring of IAS. The objectives of the Action Plan also include setting up a national risk assessment system for IAS, increasing research on IAS, especially related to risk assessments, preparations to prevent the entry of IAS to Finland and to launch rapid measures against IAS already present in the country, as well as encouraging voluntary action by citizens to prevent IAS. As set out in the Action Plan, funding mechanisms for preventing IAS are developed while ensuring that IAS do not spread across borders through Finland and that Finland also participates in international action to combat IAS. In addition, a set of targeted measures are taken to prevent damage caused by IAS in the Baltic Sea and inland waters and by alien land vertebrates and land plants. One objective contained in the strategy is to completely eradicate giant hogweeds in Finland within the next 10 to 20 years.

The Government Resolution on Finland’s National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species was adopted on 15 March 2012.

Keywords: alien species, invasive alien species (IAS), potentially or locally harmful alien species, invasive alien species in the Baltic Sea, invasive alien species in inland waters, invasive alien land vertebrates, invasive alien land plants, invasive alien agricultural and forestry species, invasive alien indoor pests