Finns are increasingly concerned about the state of nature – the loss of biodiversity is now recognized as a threat

Compared to the 2020 barometer, concerns about the have grown both globally and in Finland. The share of those concerned about the state of the ’s rose by 9% and the share of those concerned about Finland’s nature by 15%.

47% of respondents have become more aware of biodiversity and the decline of biodiversity in recent years, e.g. through the information they see in the media. Awareness has increased, especially among entrepreneurs and those under 25 years of age. The majority (68%) are interested in the natural environment and biodiversity.

20% of respondents feel that their connection to nature has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. 92% of them feel that the connection has become more positive. The connection to nature has changed during the pandemic, especially among students and pupils and those under 25 years of age. The majority of (92%) consider clean nature an important part of Finnish identity.

Biodiversity loss included in list of major natural hazards

Respondents considered pollution and environmental toxins (53% of respondents), climate change (45%), litter (35%) and biodiversity loss (33%) to be the greatest threats to nature. This means that the importance of the threat of biodiversity loss has increased compared to the first survey, in which 25% of respondents considered biodiversity loss to be a threat.
Pollution and environmental toxins became the biggest threats to our nature among many groups of respondents. The problem for those under 25 (58%) and climate change students and pupils (56%) was a major problem.

From the point of view of the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity, 86% of respondents considered it important to reduce , use and littering. Most respondents felt that nature increases people’s health and well-being and that the value of nature cannot be measured in money. In addition, respondents felt that nature should be better taken into account in the development of the city.

We all have a responsibility for Finland’s nature

According to the respondents, the main responsibility for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity in Finland lies with every citizen. State and municipal authorities, , landowners and are also responsible. The same stakeholders emerged from the 2020 survey. Compared to 2020, the number of responses where companies had a high or very high level of responsibility increased by 5%.

The majority (89%) consider nature important or very important. Here are some differences between age groups. People aged 45–64 considered nature most important, students and pupils the least.

51% of respondents worked for biodiversity. Most of them do this by taking biodiversity into account in their consumption and eating habits. The most important motivating factors for working for biodiversity were the importance of nature (58%) and children and future generations (48%).

Finns spend a lot of time in nature

41% of respondents spend time in nature several times a week and only 3% never do so. Green areas and parks in the vicinity of homes are important to Finns: 40% of respondents considered them to be the most important natural environments. In 2018, the same 40% of respondents considered these to be the most important natural areas, compared to only 32% in the 2020 survey. Among the respondent groups, students and pupils (56%) and single people (50%) considered the surrounding green areas to be particularly important, while less important for entrepreneurs (24%).

60% of the respondents prefer to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature and 54% prefer to exercise. The most popular nature activities are picking or mushroom picking and hiking in the woods.

73% of Finns exercise in their own yards several times a week and 45% in green areas and parks near their homes several times a week. People spend less of this time in national parks, other protected areas and hiking areas, and around their vacation homes. Young adults (under the age of 25) now spend more time in national parks, protected areas and hiking areas.

The third barometer of the connection with nature

This was the third time that a barometer connection to nature was made on behalf of the Ministry of the Environment and the SYKE. The previous ones were from 2020 and 2018. The survey was conducted by MDI, a consulting company specializing in regional development, and respondents were searched through the CINT service.

64% of the respondents were women. The proportion of women was 14% higher than in the 2020 survey. This time, respondents were not over 65, but in 2020, their share was 14%.

Source: Ministry of the Environment

Source: The Nordic Page

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