Improving the habitat monitoring in Finland (LUSEK) 

The Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, together with a wide range of experts, is preparing a proposal for a new habitat monitoring system. If implemented, monitoring would significantly improve the level and availability of habitat information. The monitoring system will utilize the opportunities offered by new technology, such as remote sensing.

Data to be collected includes e.g. the changes in the distribution range, total area, size and location of habitats, as well as the structure, function and species composition. The most prominent institutions that collect and utilize habitat data, such as Luke, Metsähallitus, GTK and ELY centres, are involved in the development of monitoring.

The project is linked to the Finnish Ecosystem Observatory (FEO). There is close co-operation with the FEO project, for example regarding the suitability of remote sensing methods for habitat monitoring.

Why habitat monitoring?

Habitat monitoring is part of biodiversity monitoring. Habitats constitute a higher level of biodiversity compared to the diversity of species or genes. At the same time, habitats comprise the living environment for the species. The trends in the status of habitats reflect changes in the environment.

Finland lacks comprehensive monitoring of habitats. Forty-eight percent of our habitats have been assessed as endangered, but there is only fragmented information on the change in quantity and quality of habitats.
Habitat monitoring contributes to the targeting of conservation measures in a more efficient and economical way.

The habitat monitoring system to be developed will also provide information for the implementation of Finnish and EU biodiversity strategies and for the reporting of international agreements. Habitat information has many uses in society, e.g. in land use planning, infrastructure projects and conservation planning.

Contact information

Project coordinator Aapo Ahola, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, tel. +358 295 252 234,

Head of Unit  Anne Raunio, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, tel. +358 295 251 547,

Published 2021-06-08 at 12:49, updated 2021-06-08 at 13:36

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