Finland: New environment minister blocks peat bog protection

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Sanni Grahn-Laasonen. (Yle)
Sanni Grahn-Laasonen. (Yle)
Legislation to protect boglands in Finland, long in the works at the Envrionment Ministry, has been frozen by the new Environment Minister Sanni Grahn-Laasonen.

The National Coalition Party MP says she wants landowners to protect peat bogs voluntarily.

The new Environment Minister Sanni Grahn Laasonen has frozen efforts to finalise protection for Finland’s peat bogs. The minister says she wants to ask landowners to protect their bogs voluntarily, rather than using compulsion to enforce conservation measures.

“The voluntary forest protection programme METSO has been well-received and everyone is thankful for it,” said Grahn-Laasonen. “I want to see whether bog protection on a voluntary basis could get good results.”

The minister says such a scheme could increase trust and improve perceptions of environmental protection among landowners. Her predecessor as Envrionment Minister, Green League leader Ville Niinistö, was less keen on her plans.

“Isn’t this simply a question that protecting peat bogs isn’t that important to the NCP,” asked Niinistö.

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