Finns increasingly worried about biodiversity loss, especially abroad

A forest in Finnish Lapland. Picking berries or mushrooms and hiking in forests were listed as some of the top nature activities listed by respondents in a recent survey. (Eilis Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)

Finns are increasingly worried about biodiversity loss, especially abroad, suggests a recent survey. 

The survey, commissioned by Finland’s Ministry of the Environment and the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, found that 56 per cent of respondents were worried, or very worried, about the state of nature in Finland, but that when it came to nature on a global scale, the number shot up to 80 per cent. 

The survey was the third such canvassing to be commissioned. The previous editions were done in 2018 and 2020.

“Compared to the barometer conducted in 2020, the worry about the state of nature has grown, both globally and concerning Finland,” a news release from the government of Finland said.

“The percentage of those worried about the state of the world’s nature increased by 9 per cent and the percentage of those worried about the Finnish nature by 15 per cent.

The respondents indicated pollution, environmental toxins, climate change, littering and biodiversity loss were currently the biggest threats to nature. (Government of Finland)

COVID-19 impacts on perceptions of nature

A majority of the respondents (92 per cent) said that clean nature was an important part of Finnish identity.

Picking berries or mushrooms and hiking in forests were listed as some of the top nature activities. 

Respondents also said that COVID-19 had given them a greater bond with the natural environment, with 20 per cent saying the pandemic had changed their connection with nature. Of those, 92 per cent said their connection with nature had become more positive.

Fifty-one per cent of respondents said they actively took biodiversity into account during their shopping and eating choices.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Feds and Inuit gov in Atlantic Canada sign MOU to explore feasibility of new Indigenous protected area, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Finland has a ‘big responsibility’ for biodiversity loss, says researcher, Yle News

Greenland: Melting of Greenland glacier generating its own heat and accelerating thaw from base, says study, Eye on the Arctic

Russia: Warmest winter ever on the Northern Sea Route, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Norway asks Sweden to take part in carbon capture project, Radio Sweden

United States: 2018 was the 4th-warmest year on record, NOAA and NASA reveal, CBC News

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