Situated in the Province of Turku and Pori in southwestern Finland, this biosphere reserve comprises terrestrial and marine habitats such as coniferous forests, wood meadows, heaths, rocky meadows, rocky or sandy islets, arable land, seashores and open sea areas.
It represents a coastal environment with small islands in the Baltic Sea. The island societies are small-scaled and the people who have lived there for generations have a close contact with the sea and the nature. The traditional livelihoods like fishing and agriculture are getting less profitable and the population has greatly decreased since the beginning of the last century.
Designation date: 2005
Regional network: EuroMAB
Surface : 540,000 ha
- Core area(s): 50,000 ha
- Buffer zone(s): 232,000 ha
- Transition zone(s): 258,000 ha
This biosphere reserve comprises terrestrial and marine habitats such as coniferous forests, wood meadows, heaths, rocky meadows, rocky or sandy islets, arable land, seashores and open sea areas. Special habitats found are old-growth forest, cultural landscapes, moors, herb-rich forests and marine sea grass meadows having a scattered distribution.
The mosaic-like archipelago consists of 6500 islands (>0.5 ha) and is unique worldwide. The post-glacial land-uplift is an important factor in forming the archipelago topography and scenery. The present rate of the land-uplift is 4-5 mm/year. The bedrock in the Archipelago Sea area is a remnant of an ancient mountain chain called the Svecofennides and forms a peneplain. The bedrock consists mainly of granite, gneiss and schist. In addition, there are small local limestone occurrences.
The Archipelago Sea National Park, which represents the core area of the biosphere reserve, differs in many aspects from other Finish national parks since it comprises traditional landscape with grazing and hay-cutting activities as well as fishing and hunting activities. It was established in order to protect the natural environment and culture of the Archipelago Sea, to safeguard the traditional ways of utilizing natural resources, to protect a living community and to promote environmental research and interest in nature.
With the establishment of the biosphere reserve, a buffer zone and transition area now surrounds the national park in order to pave the way for a sustainable development of the Archipelago Sea area. About 1,200 people live permanently within the biosphere reserve, which receives about 200,000 visitors annually
Last updated: December 2018