Finnish budget boosts nature protection
Environment Daily 1726, 15/09/04
The Finnish government's projected budget for 2005 is set to raise spending on environmental projects marginally to €934 million, the environment ministry reports. The figure will amount to 2.5% of all government spending; this year's budget ran to a similar total - €932m.
Hidden beneath this apparently stable figure are some big shifts in individual funding lines, however. Most significant is a bigger budget for nature conservation - up by €17m to €86m. This reflects higher spending to promote sustainable tourism in protected areas.
Agricultural subsidies will also rise to fund measures reducing eutrophication in inland waters and the Baltic Sea.
The deepest budget cut is in "direct environmental protection" measures, where spending will fall to €37m from last year's unusually high figure of €59m. Spending on regional co-operation schemes also falls after the accession of Finland's Baltic neighbours to the EU.
Meanwhile an annual report on natural resources and the environment published alongside the budget highlights Finland's continuing problems in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Energy-related emissions have been particularly high over the last couple of years due to the increased fossil-fuel burning during dry summers when Nordic hydropower capacity has been low.
Finnish environment ministry http://www.environment.fi/
Statistics Finland http://www.tilastokeskus.fi/
The review Finland's natural resources and the environment 2004 http://www.tilastokeskus.fi/tk/tt/ymparisto_en.html