Finland Finland Finland Finland

Cultural-historical heritage in Finland

Vulnerabilities in Finland

Archaeological heritage and wooden building

As environmental conditions of the soil change, archaeological heritage will be endangered and stability of the soil as a foundation for buildings will weaken. Wood is also sensitive to changes in humidity. Wooden buildings are typical in Finland and, therefore, measures will be required to control decay and fungi growth even without flooding problems. The old town in Rauma and the Petäjävesi wooden church on the UNESCO World Heritage List represent Nordic wooden architecture. Extreme weather phenomena such as storms and flooding have an impact, for example, on the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress also listed on the World Heritage List (1).

Adaptation to climate change leads to an increased need for safety repairs at restoration and conservation sites. Climate and energy policies, like the increasing use of renewable energy sources, and energy-saving goals, like improving energy efficiency of buildings, may also have significant effect on the cultural environment.(1).

Reindeer husbandry

Reindeer husbandry is important in Lapland, particularly in small communities. Reindeer are also of great cultural value because many of their owners are indigenous Sami people. The impacts of climate change on reindeer populations are expected to be mainly unfavourable. If winters get milder and precipitation increases, snow may be thicker and icy layers may form inside the snow cover. This would make it difficult for reindeer to dig for lichen and their need for supplementary food will increase. The northward advance of the tree line and gradual replacement of lichens with vascular plants may also affect reindeer pastures (1).

Warming climate and increasingly extreme weather affect herding conditions in Fennoscandia via shrubification of open fells and more frequent ice-locked pastures, for example (3). As a result of climate change mitigation actions, national policies have increased the demand for renewable energy such as wind, hydropower, and biomass in Finland, increasing land use pressures within the reindeer management area (4). 

In Finland, ethnic Finns and Sámi both practice reindeer herding, whereas in Norway and Sweden, it is almost exclusively the right of Sámi. There are ca. 200,000 reindeer in Finland and ca. 5,000 reindeer owners, of which ca. 1,000 are indigenous Sámi. The total Sámi population in Finland is ca. 10,000 people (2).

Adaptation strategies

The need to reconcile the interests of reindeer husbandry and forestry will become even more important as climate change alters the circumstances. Additional feeding of reindeer may be needed depending on the natural conditions and state of pastures (1).


The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Finland.

  1. Ministry of the Environment and Statistics Finland (2009)
  2. Sámediggi (2021), in: Landauer et al. (2021)
  3. Myers-Smith et al. (2015); Forbes et al. (2016); Horstkotte et al. (2017); Rasmus et al. (2018, 2020), all in: Landauer et al. (2021)
  4. Landauer et al. (2021)

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