Janne Pitkänen

Senior Officer

My work at the Unit for Recreational Use of Nature mainly concerns game animal policy, i.e. hunting and game management. Game management plans are an important tool for this, aiming to ensure viable game animal populations and that hunting takes place on a sustainable basis. Certain game animals also cause conflicts and damages, which the measures outlined in the management plans should address. I am also involved in the so-called performance guidance of the Finnish Wildlife Agency and game and fisheries research, where we consider what kind of studies and development projects are needed to find solutions to problems and to have reliable information as the basis for decision-making. I prepare decisions on state aid so that funds can be granted for taking new measures and development projects to practice. Hunting is regulated through various acts and decrees, and preparing these is an important aspect of my work. Game management and hunting are influenced by numerous EU directives and international nature conservation agreements. Work on their implementation and development is constantly done in various international contexts. I am a member of several national and international expert groups and prepare Finnish positions on legislative proposals, plans and projects.

The Ministry does not do all of this alone, but we cooperate with the Finnish Wildlife Agency, Natural Resources Research Institute and Metsähallitus practically on a daily basis. Together with experts from these organizations we work for the viability of our game animal populations and diverse and sustainable utilisation of game resources, as well as reconcile the sometimes diverging expectations relating to game animals. I am heading a strategy and foresight group where we try to figure out how we could manage these issues even better in the future. In my work I need expertise in natural resources, judicial issues and administrative practices, and some knowledge on economic and financial affairs is also useful. Because a major part of my work has to do with reconciling varying, sometimes conflicting opinions and expectations, I need negotiation skills and ability to cope with different kinds of people. The situation is the same in international contexts.

I hold the Master of Science degree awarded by the University of Helsinki. I majored in game animal science, and as secondary subject I studied fisheries science and private forestry. Towards the end of my studies I got a job in a project to enhance bird wetlands carried out by the Finnish Hunters’ Association by means of funding from the Ministry. In that job I had to learn about international and EU-level management plans for birds and collaborate with the Ministry in these issues. After that I got a temporary post at the Ministry, then engaged in planning tasks for fixed periods, and finally was appointed to my present, permanent office.

At the Ministry we have the opportunity to manage a wide variety of tasks and search for solutions to new situations. What I enjoy most is working together with experts and researchers from different fields and nature, game and hunting enthusiasts to discuss ideas for new solutions and research topics in response to topical problems and challenges. As the new idea or study starts to unfold, we may well see that the outcome is even better than we could have imagined. Often the process opens up new thoughts and leads us to find new information and challenges that may radically change the way we see things.

Work on game animals and biodiversity gives a lot to anyone interested in the nature. I look forward to working at the Ministry in dealing with the opportunities and challenges in game management and the use of nature for recreation long into the future.