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Ruralia Institute
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Tel. +358 294 1911

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Evaluation of the finnish national policy on large carnivores, publication is available also in english!

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's national population management plans for the wolverine, lynx, bear and wolf are a key instrument in implementing the national policy on large carnivores. Population management plans have been implemented in an effort to meet the requirements laid out in international agreements for achieving the ecological sustainability of the species, whilst taking into account national needs for ensuring economic and social sustainability.

Stakeholder and citizen involvement in the drafting of population management plans has been handled by means of extensive consultations. These consultations and the socioeconomic analyses based on them were included in Ruralia Institute publications The wolf discourse in Finland (2005), Between lynxes and people (2006), Bear management and public attitudes in Finland (2006), and Wolverine management and public attitudes in Finland (2008).

This evaluation of the national policy on large carnivores includes a comprehensive estimate of the policy objectives and actions led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in 2007-2012. Developmental proposals for the large carnivore policy were also made based on the results of the evaluation. Serving as the basis for evaluation, an analysis of each species was conducted by examining the success of population management from the perspective of ecological, economic and social sustainability. In examining ecological sustainability, attention was given to trends in large carnivore populations during the review period, the evaluation of threatened species and bag limit adjustments. Where economic sustainability is concerned, the costs of administration and research as well as allocations for compensating and preventing damages caused by large carnivores were taken into account. Where social sustainability is concerned, the transparency, involvement and social approval of the policy were taken into account.

A key observation made in development of the large carnivore policy actions is to give equal consideration to ecological, economic and social factors in policy objectives and actions as well as state that these three perspectives are interdependent. A touchstone of the current large carnivore policy is exceeding the threshold of social acceptance, particularly where the wolf is concerned. This, in turn, compromises systematic population management built upon the ecological strategy objective. Developing the psychological ownership toward large carnivores is considered a crucial aspect of ensuring success in future population management.

Further information:
Project Manager Mari Pohja-Mykrä, +358 50 4151 149,

Link to publication:
Evaluation of the finnish national policy on large carnivores.