VieKas LIFE (Finvasive LIFE, 20182023) is the largest and most ambitious project on awareness building, mapping and controlling of invasive alien plant species (IAS) in Finland. Invasive alien species have a significant negative impact on not only Finlands native species and habitats but also human health and economy. With warming climate, their harmful impact will only grow in the future.

Cherish Finlands native species and habitats. Clever invasive species require clever action!

Kuva: Kuva: Maja Dumat (CC BY 2.0)

Contact info and media files

Contact project personnel and download logos and other media files

Contact info and media files

Get involved in invasive action!

Discover ways to join the work! (Project portal in Finnish only for now)

Get involved, you are needed!

What Finvasive LIFE?

VieKas = VierasKasvi!

Finvasive LIFE -project will familiarise Finns to invasive alien species, their significance and adverse effects to biodiversity, health and economy by using three focus species (Himalayan Balsam, Hogweeds and Yellow Skunk-Cabbage as example species.

Hands-on conservation work to ease your environmental and climate anxiety

The threat of invasive alien species to Finnish species and habitats will only grow in the future with the warming climate. As it gets warmer, more and more arriving invasive species will be able to survive and spread in our northern climate and cause harm. Finvasive LIFE offers Finns beneficial advice and solutions today, that will prevent the spreading of species and their harmful effects tomorrow.

New co-operation between citizens, municipalities, organisations and businesses.

The spreading of invasive species does not stop at property, provincial or national borders. That is why, without exception, stopping their spread requires neighbours working together. Finvasive LIFE will help to create new local and regional partnerships to survey, control and eventually stop and prevent the future spread of harmful invasive species .

IAS surveying and control activities by citizen scientists

Finnish citizens that take part in the free IAS information events will be introduced in how to do citizen science by sending observation data by using the projects smarthone tool. Observation data is of crucial importance to the success of AIS eradication action plans. Active citizens, municipalities, organisations and businesses work together to preserve native species and habitats from harmful invasive species.

Finvasive LIFE will actively share its results nationwide and internationally

Finvasive LIFE will test, develop and gather all the best practices, policy change suggestions, useful information and material during the project(2018–2023). The results and applications for the information will be actively disseminated in various platforms in and outside Finland.

Finvasive LIFE goals

1. Education and communication efforts reduce the unintentional spread of invasive alien species

in Finland, the most significant pathways for invasive species to spread into the wild are home and professional gardens, agriculture and green infrastructure building. Finvasive LIFE offers target groups (home gardeners and future professional gardeners) education and communication of invasive alien plant species and the ways of dispersal. Our efforts in awareness building will reduce the intentional and unintentional spread of IAS in Finland.

2. Invasive species aware citizens and volunteers will help solve the invasive problems

In average, the Finns are not familiar with what invasive species are and what is their impact on our native species and habitats or human health and economy. Finvasive LIFE will build IAS awareness and offer advice on simple ways how to prevent the spreading of present day and new invasive species to Finland. We organise numerous information events where we recruit, inform and encourage IAS citizen scientists to send observation data and take part in invasive plant eradication events.

3. Provide Finnish municipalities with a "toolbox" of useful IAS solutions

Finvasive LIFE will gather all the best practices, useful guidelines and practical solutions and develop, in collaboration with the municipalities, a collection of solutions on how to prevent and control the spreading of invasive species.

4. Finvasive LIFE will develop environmentally friendly alternatives to synthetic herbicides.

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) will develop a biodegradable and long-lasting peat-based cover material as an alternative chemical (e.g., glyphosate-based) herbicides.

5. Controlling and eradicating from the wild invasive alien plant species of EU concern.

Finvasive LIFE will eradicate invasive Hogweed sites in Varsinais-Suomi area, at least 50 Himalayan balsam sites around Finland and all the known Finnish Yellow Skunk-Cabbage sites from the wild.

Finvasive LIFE in action

Learn more about invasive species and get inspired by citizen science !

FANC:s and Martha Organisations regional and local associations organise numerous open and free of charge invasive species events, such as invasive species walks, lectures or weeding events.

Media events will bring out the important message on IAS

Although the project’s communication efforts will focus on three invasive plant species (Himalayan balsam, harmful Hogweeds and Yellow skunk cabbage), we aim to shed light into the invasive species discussion in Finland with examples from other species groups as well, including even agricultural pests and diseases.

School teacher: you can order an invasive species learning experience to your classroom!

Our project partner Nature League of Finland is offering Finnish schools (7–9 -graders) the possibility to order a trained invasive species school ambassador to give your student insight in invasive alien species and their harmful impact to biodiversity. The 90-minute lesson will inspire your class to conduct their own invasive species survey or to weed out an invasive species site in the schools vicinity. More information and ambassador order form (in Finnish only)

Order form for IAS school ambassador (Finland only)

Finvasive LIFE offers support and training for organisers of survey and weeding events

The project will train FANC’s and Martha organisations volunteers to organise invasive species weeding and information events in their local communities. Training events for other parties can also be when needed and possible. Please contact our friendly Finvasive LIFE staff for more information.

Finvasive staff contact info

VieKas/Finvasive LIFE -project: Focus Species

Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)

We educate citizen scientists and encourage volunteer Finns to survey and weed out Himalayan balsam in the whole nation.

Invasive Hogweeds (Heracleum persicum -group)

We eradicate Hogweeds in co-operation with municipalities of Varsinais-Suomi (South-East Finland).

Yellow skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus)

We aim to eradicate all known Yellow skunk cabbage sites in Finland.

Finvasive (VieKas) LIFE -project in short

Finvasive LIFE (VieKas LIFE) (8/2018–12/2023)

Awareness building, surveying and controlling invasive alien species (IAS) in Finland -LIFE+                                          (LIFE17 NAT/FI/000528)

Coordinating beneficiary: FANC, Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (Suomen luonnonsuojeluliitto)

Budget: 2 473 531 euros (60 % EU LIFE -funding)

Finvasive LIFE is financially supported by the European Union in the framework of the European Commission’s LIFE Programme. Information and opinions expressed on this website do not reflect the official opinion of EASME or the European Union. EASME or the European Union are not responsible for any use of the information.

 

VieKas LIFE – Associated beneficiaries

Nature League of Finland. Invasive species-themed school visits and materials.
The Natural Resources Institute of Finland. Developing environmentally friendly cover material and other methods for controlling invasive plant species growth
Finnish Museum of Natural History. Project web portal and low-threshold, smartphone-optimized tool for surveying invasive alien species by volunteer citizen scientists

The City of Jyväskylä. Controlling the spread of Himalayan balsam with local volunteers and sheep grazing
The City of Riihimäki. Controlling the spread of Himalayan balsam with local volunteers and teams of long-term unemployed
The Martha Organisation. Awareness building activities through education and giving advice to home gardeners