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Responsible for the service ELY Centre

An exception to the protection of nature

  • Permit or other obligation
  • Nationwide except the Åland Islands
  • Public service

In some cases, it is possible to request an exception to a prohibition that applies to protected species, natural habitats and preserved species.

It is prohibited to transform the protected natural habitats and in particular to deteriorate or destruct the territories of the specifically protected species. There are special prohibitions relating to the preserved species. For species listed in Annex IV (a) of the Habitats Directive, it is also prohibited to deteriorate or destruct the breeding sites or resting places.

The decisions help to promote the conservation of biodiversity and to ensure the fulfilment of the conditions for an exception laid down in the Habitats Directive or in the Birds Directive and in the Nature Conservation Act.

Do the following

When applying for an exception, it is good to have information on the type of species or natural habitat that the application for an exception concerns. In all cases, information is required about the relevant project, its effects and any alternative solutions as the object is to endeavour for a solution that harms the area as little as possible.

Submit your exception application online by filling in an electronic form (a private person’s online form, a company’s/entity’s/operator’s online form, a municipality’s online form, an authority’s online form).

To whom and on what terms

A general condition for an exception is that of maintaining a favourable conservation status. Detailed information is available on the website of the environmental administration (Exception to the prohibition to transform a natural habitat, Exception to the prohibition to deteriorate the territory of a specifically protected species, Exception to the provisions protecting the species and Exception to the prohibition to deteriorate or destruct the breeding sites or resting places laid down in the Habitats Directive.

A fee is charged for the service.

The exception is subject to a fee and the fees can be found on the website: A government decree on the fee-based services of the ELY Centre, TE Offices and KEHA Centre.

Basic information

The service is provided byCentre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
Other responsible organisationsELY Centre for Satakunta, ELY Centre for Varsinais-Suomi, ELY Centre for North Savo, ELY Centre for South Savo, ELY Centre for North Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for Häme, ELY Centre for South Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for Uusimaa, ELY Centre for North Karelia, ELY Centre for Kainuu, ELY Centre for Southeast Finland, ELY Centre for Central Finland, ELY Centre for Lapland, ELY Centre for Pirkanmaa
Responsible for the serviceCentre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: ELY Centre
Updated: 23/3/2021