Long-Term Assessment and Management of Coastal Zones in the Gulf of Finland

Finland (COAST-MAN)

Geographical coverage

Geographical scale of the assessment Sub-national
Country or countries covered Finland
Any other necessary information or explanation for identifying the location of the assessment, including site or region name

SW coastal Finland, Raasepori & Hanko Municipalities

Conceptual framework, methodology and scope

Assessment objectives

COAST-MAN stands for Coastal Management and focuses on ecosystem services and human wellbeing in the sectors of tourism and traditional livelihoods (agriculture & fishing). We focus on tourism and agriculture because these are primary economic activities in the region; agriculture and fishing because they are intrinsic to local identity and culture. The main question of COAST-MAN is: How can we meet key municipality goals for sustainable growth and quality of life while assuring vibrant traditional livelihoods and tourism as we strive to meet water quality, energy and climate goals?

Through COAST-MAN SGA, we aim to improve management of the coastal zone of SW Finland through 1.examining key ecosystem services related to agriculture, tourism, carbon balance and water quality; 2. determining trends and baselines in these ecosystem services; and 3. Creating scenarios that can be used for informing policy and decision-making at the local and regional levels.

Our position is that the region must be economically, ecologically and culturally vibrant. We use scenarios to assess how to meet key environmental targets (water quality, greenhouse gas emissions) within the context of municipal sustainable growth and quality-of-life goals. Quality of life and sustainability targets include: demographic change (population growth), growth of entrepreneurism, protection of agricultural landscape and associated biological diversity and cultural values, sustainable fishing as a livelihood option, and “livable cities” goals like green spaces and a vibrant community.

Mandate for the assessment

COAST-MAN received endorsement as an SGA from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Follow-up Programme secretariat in 2009. COAST-MAN is an ongoing assessment and is active in the SGA Network lead by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).

COAST-MAN was initiated by Research and Development Institute Aronia at Åbo Akademi and Novia University of Applied Sciences and its Coastal Zone Research team and has the support of the local municipalities in which it works. The R&D strategy of Novia University of Applied Sciences is to conduct research on sustainable natural resource management and develop tools for implementation of sustainable management on the local and regional level. Aronia is the research institute in which the research goals of Novia AU are performed. COAST-MAN ecosystem assessment directly fulfills that mandate by developing scenarios for the region and integrating ecosystem services concepts and data into management tools developed by the GeoDesign-project which also is part of Aronias research base.

COAST-MAN aims to assess the impact of the municipal climate strategy on the assessment components for the municipality: tourism, sustainable/green city, agricultural community, and fishing as a livelihood option. The Municipal Climate Strategy was adopted in 2012. The goal of Raasepori Municipality’s Energy and Climate strategy is to improve energy efficiency in all sectors of the municipality and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program encompasses all government sector action plans with concrete action proposals. The program supports the National Energy and Climate Goals, which mandate a halt to growth in energy consumption and a minimum 1/3 reduction from 2020 energy levels by 2050.

Finland’s strategy for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use for 2012–2020, (draft 9.3.2012) goal 4 is to guarantee the benefits of biological diversity and ecosystem services for all. Objectives are set for achieving goal 4. Objective 14 stating, ”Ecosystems producing essential services are to be restored and protected with consideration for Social, economic and cultural perspectives. This includes taking into consideration ecosystem services associated with water, health, livelihoods and wellbeing and the Sami people’s needs as an indigenous people. ” and Objective 15: ”Ecosystem resilience and biodiversity’s importance for carbon storage is improved through conservation and restoration. Finland participates in achieving the global goal of restoration of a minimum 15 percent of compromised ecosystems while concommitantly furthering goals of climate change mitigation.”

Conceptual framework and/or methodology used for the assessment

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA)

URL or copy of conceptual framework developed or adapted


System(s) assessed

  • Coastal
  • Forest and woodland
  • Cultivated/Agricultural land
  • Grassland

Species groups assessed

At this time, there is no intention to assess any particular species groups.

Ecosystem services/functions assessed


  • Food
  • Water


  • Climate regulation
  • Regulation of water quality

Supporting Services/Functions

  • Maintainence of genetic diversity
  • Lifecycle (Marine fish: nursery habitats, species interaction between trophic levels)

Cultural Services

  • Recreation and tourism
  • Aesthetic enjoyment
  • symbolic values
  • cultural heritage

Scope of assessment includes

Drivers of change in systems and services


Impacts of change in services on human well-being


Options for responding/interventions to the trends observed


Explicit consideration of the role of biodiversity in the systems and services covered by the assessment


Timing of the assessment

Year assessment started


Year assessment finished


If ongoing, year assessment is anticipated to finish

Periodicity of assessment

One off

Assessment outputs


Communication materials (e.g. brochure, presentations, posters, audio-visual media)

Brochure English

Brochure Finnish

Brochure Swedish

COAST-MAN poster SGA Network Meeting Bilbao dec 2011

Cultural landscapes poster Swedish/Finnish

Newsletter 2011 Finnish

Newsletter 2011 Swedish

Journal publications

Birge, T. & Fred, M.S.: New ideas for old landscapes: using a social-ecological approach for conservation of traditional rural biotopes - a case study from Finland. European Countryside Vol. 3 no. 2 p. 61-67

Training materials

Other documents/outputs

COAST-MAN Framework

Tools and processes

Tools and approaches used in the assessment

  • Indicators
  • Scenarios
  • Social (non-monetary) valuation
  • Ecosystem mapping
  • Stakeholder consultations
  • Response options

Process used for stakeholder engagement in the assessment process and which component

Through the both the partner projects and dedicated stakeholder meetings, COAST-Man consults with stakeholders and presents its results to them. Some stakeholders are also represented in COAST-MAN SGA Steering Committee (Raasepori & Hanko municipalities) and through the respective partner project advisory committees. COAST-MAN’s website is regularly updated with news and announcements (in Swedish, Finnish & English) and an annual newsletter is sent out to stakeholders who have requested to be on the mailing list. NANNUT Internet portal open for public contains project data from, freely available for all stakeholders. www.nannut.fi

Key stakeholder groups engaged

Raseborg & Hanko municipality officials Local producers Local scientific community (Research and Development Institute Aronia, Tvärminne Zoological Station)

The number of people directly involved in the assessment process


Incorporation of scientific and other types of knowledge

  • Utilises in-house research on greenhouse gas emissions & sequestration, water quality, research in food and agriculture, valuation system for underwater habitats
  • Local knowledge from municipality & rural stakeholders

Supporting documentation for specific approaches, methodology or criteria developed and/or used to integrate knowledge systems into the assessment

Assessment reports peer reviewed



Accessibility of data used in assessment

Data will be available in two public web portals www.nannut.fi & Tvärminne Zoological Stations VACCIA –portal http://maps.tvarminne.helsinki.fi/index_uk.htm

Policy impact

Impacts the assessment has had on policy and/or decision making, as evidenced through policy references and actions

Independent or other review on policy impact of the assessment


Lessons learnt for future assessments from these reviews

Capacity building

Capacity building needs identified during the assessment

Actions taken by the assessment to build capacity

Network and sharing experiences, Sharing of data/repatriation of data, Workshops, Communication and awareness raising

How have gaps in capacity been communicated to the different stakeholders

Knowledge generation

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment

How gaps in knowledge have been communicated to the different stakeholders

Additional relevant information