Environmental protection – Adaptation
From the point of view of adapting to climate change, needs related to environmental protection are mainly connected to keeping the living environment of the local residents healthy and comfortable in the changing conditions. On the other hand, climate change increases the strain allocated at the natural environment and thus increases the importance of environmental protection measures.
Condition of bodies of water weaken along with climate change
With regard to environmental protection, challenges related to climate change pertain to changes in precipitation. During dry periods, decreasing runoffs increase the eutrophication of headwaters where as extreme rain that commonly increases enhance the carriage of nutrients into the bodies of water. For the protection of the Baltic Sea in particular, this development is worrying, making eutrophication a key challenge.
Intensification of the hydrological cycle forces nutrients and contaminants in motion
To prepare for increasing rain, municipalities must ensure the operation of sewage disposal in exceptional circumstances and otherwise ascertain that the nutrient loading of water bodies is not increased in any circumstances. In addition, attention should be paid to minimising infiltration in landfill sites and the treatment practices of contaminated soil. In groundwater areas, contaminated soil should be treated more extensively than what is done at the moment.
Evening out peaks in flows by holding water at the headwater regions of waterways helps to reduce the nutrient load while it provides benefit through flood protection. In addition, from many perspectives, renaturation of drained peatland is beneficial.
Changes in land use also have an impact on the natural environment
For its part, climate change will change the requirements and practices of land use and primary production. Municipalities should be aware of this pressure to change and monitor the impacts of change to the status of the natural environment. At the same time, they should ensure that the built environment, such as exercise facilities and parks maintained by the municipality, sustain their recreational value even in the changing conditions.