Constructed wetlands in Finnish agricultural environments: balancing between effective water protection, multi-functionality and socio-economy / Małe sztuczne zbiorniki wodne w krajobrazie rolniczym Finlandii: ochrona jakości wody na tle wielozadaniowych funkcji tych zbiorników i aspektów socjalno-ekonomicznych

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Abstract

This case study summarizes the current knowledge in Finland on the efficiency of constructed wetlands to improve water quality at the same time providing multiple benefits. The efficiency is highly dependent on the wetland’s relative size compared to the upstream catchment area, and on the amount of agricultural land in the upstream catchment. The case study analyses the incentives designed to motivate landowners to construct wetlands in Finland such as the non-productive investment support and the agri-environment payment support for wetland management. Farmers think that the support system is heavy and bureaucratic, and thus the target number of new constructed wetlands is far from being met. Individual projects have been more successful in wetland construction than the official support system. General wetland plans drafted for hotspot areas is an example of enabling factors and strict eligibility rules form one of the barriers of wetland construction identified in this case study. In spite of the criticism of the current wetland incentives, a support system for wetland construction is needed. One option would be to give regional authorities more freedom to select priority areas according to e.g. River Basin Management Plans.

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