Public-private-partnership model in Lake and River Basin Restoration – Example from Finland

The public-private-partnership (PPP) model has been successfully used in the restoration of Lake Pyhäjärvi in Finland. This model can attract social capital, and improve the comprehensive benefits of water resource management. The use of this approach in lake restorations should be further promoted.

Since 2000 there has been a common EU policy for water protection. River basin management plans cover all surface and ground waters and the plans are updated every six years. The state government and municipalities promote the activities in the plans within the framework of their budgetary funds, but there is a need for additional financing and organized implementation.

One model to solve this question of funding and implementation is a joint long-term restoration programme, funded by public-private-partnership. This has been implemented Pyhäjärvi Institute, a private non-profitable foundation. Pyhäjärvi Institute has two ppp-funded programmes, Pyhäjärvi Restoration Programme and JOKIProgramme for River Eurajoki Basin. Both programmes have long term ppp-fundings (5-6 years commitments), which include public funding from cities/municipalities and private funding from local companies, associations and NGOs. The programme is recognizing the main problems and joining all actors to implement the action plan towards commonly set goals.

The benefits of this model are clear. For public authorities it provides practical implementation of water legislation, in Finnish case EU’s Water Frame Directive. The programme work supports general aims to guarantee good water quality and aquatic ecosystem services. It is linking different actors from local citizen to public authorities and scientists. The benefits for private companies are also significant. For the companies using water the improved water quality means savings in water purification processes. Participation to water protection programmes can improve the public image and company brand among the environmentally aware customers. The projects increase the co-operation between private sector and research units and can create new business opportunities with innovative new ideas.

Read more about the use of ppp-model in Pyhäjärvi region here.