The Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry published Finland’s National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products in March 2011. The plan sets targets, measures and timetables for achieving the sustainable use of plant protection products as required under Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides. The Directive has been implemented nationally by the new Finnish Act on Plant Protection Products (1563/2011). The Act stipulates that the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency is responsible for drafting and executing the National Action Plan in collaboration with plant protection professionals and public authorities.
The measures described in the National Action Plan have been timetabled and responsibilities relating to implementation assigned to plant protection professionals. The objective of the plan is to reduce risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment. The plan covers the entire lifecycle of plant protection products from product authorisation to point of sale, use, and measuring traces in food products. The objective of reducing environmental risks has been factored in by instructing on the use of plant protection products and monitoring the state of the environment.
The National Action Plan takes account of the health and safety of pesticide users, bystanders and consumers as well as environmental protection. Individuals who use pesticides in their work in trade, agriculture, forestry and green spaces play an important role in this respect. Training will be provided to these professionals and they will be required to become certified and to observe the general principles of integrated pest management. Professional users will also be required to have their pesticide application equipment inspected. Aerial spraying is prohibited under the Directive barring a few exceptions.