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Helping biodiversity adapt to climate change - implications for nature conservation law in Finland

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Author(s): Borgström, Suvi

Journal: Nordisk Miljörättslig Tidskrift
ISSN 2000-4273

Volume: 2012;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 31;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: biological diversity | nature conservation legislation | habitats directive

ABSTRACT
Biological diversity is expected to come underincreasing stress, and a number of species are tobecome threatened with extinction on account ofclimate change. As it is inevitable that climate willchange in future decades, regardless of mitigationactions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there isa growing need to increase the adaptive capacity ofthe species and habitats. Several policy documentsand literature on conservation biology have proposeda number of proactive measures that seemto be required in order for species and habitats toadapt to climate change. These measures includeprotecting and restoring large robust natural areas,ensuring connectivity between those areas, increasingthe resilience of the species and ecosystems tochanging conditions, and in some cases undertakingactive translocation of populations in climaticallymore suitable areas. Even though the HabitatsDirective was not created the climate change inmind, it provides a legal basis for these adaptationmeasures. This article aims at analyzing how Finlandhas implemented the provisions of the HabitatsDirective that are relevant for climate changeadaptation. The aim is to assess to what extent theFinnish nature conservation legislation is able toanswer the challenges that climate change poses forspecies and habitats.

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