Can green infrastructure help to conserve biodiversity?

Anna Salomaa*, Riikka Paloniemi, Janne S. Kotiaho, Marianne Kettunen, Evangelia Apostolopoulou, Joanna Cent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The gradually decreasing connectivity of habitats threatens biodiversity and ecological processes valuable to humans. Green infrastructure is promoted by the European Commission as a key instrument for the conservation of ecosystems in the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020. Green infrastructure has been defined as a network of natural and semi-natural areas, designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services.We surveyed Finnish experts’ perceptions on the development of green infrastructure within the existing policy framework. Our results show that improving the implementation of existing conservation policy instruments needs to be an integral part of developing green infrastructure. Despite the potential of green infrastructure to benefit biodiversity, existing conceptual ambiguity of green infrastructure with rather complex role of ecosystem services-and the possible interpretation of this in practice-raises concerns regarding its ability to contribute to biodiversity conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-288
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Biodiversity governance
  • Ecosystem services
  • Environmental governance
  • Environmental policy
  • European Union


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