Finland expands bird conservation areas

Government struggling to comply with EU law despite identifying 15% of territory as important for birds

A big expansion in the number of areas identified as important for wild birds was announced by the Finnish national environment institute on Friday. Over 400 nationally important bird areas, or "Finibas," have been designated, covering 15% of the country. The development follows surveys carried out with the help of hundreds of amateur ornithologists.

Designation as a Finiba does not automatically entail protected status, but the government is claiming the initiative as a significant advance that will help with future planning, conservation measures and decisions on protection programmes.

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