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Freshabit Life project improves the state of freshwater habitats in Finland


EKOenergy and the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC) has a major role in the EU-funded Life project for freshwater habitats in 2016-2022. Metsähallitus (the Forest Administration in Finland) coordinates this large scale project which covers the whole of Finland. State and local authorities and non-governmental organisations will also contribute towards the project. The goal of the Freshabit Life project is to improve condition of lakes, rivers and streams by various methods, that range from hands-on river restoration to environmental education and research.


The Life programme is the EU’s funding instrument for supporting environmental and climate change projects. The Nature & Biodiversity component of Life co-finances best practice nature projects. It focuses on the implementation of the European Birds and Habitats Directives and management of the Natura 2000 network. Natura 2000 is the European network of important nature areas.

Freshabit Life is the largest Life project ever in Finland.

The role of EKOenergy in this Life project

Sustainable hydropower

In this Life project, a lot of different partners have different roles and tasks. EKOenergy will implement actions and campaigns to make hydropower more sustainable.

  • Hydropower is renewable but has a lot of environmental impacts. That is why we need strict ecological criteria for hydropower. EKOenergy hydropower criteria is reviewed during first years of the project.
  • We inform big electricity consumers (e.g large companies) about environmental problems related to hydropower. We tell to the big electricity users why they should use our sustainability criteria if they are purchasing hydropower.
  • We will organise a campaign to households related to EKOenergy criteria for in 2017.

More EKOenergy-certified hydropower

  • We will liase with hydropower producers to make them more aware of the environmental problems related to hydropower, and advise on ways to mitigate these problems.
  • We will search for hydropower plants that are willing to meet our strict criteria and make the required investments to be able to sell EKOenergy-certified electricity.

Fish Passage Electricity

One of the concrete actions of the LIFE project, is the launch of a new concept: Fish passage electricity. Fish passage electricity is electricity with a slightly higher price, but consumers get the guarantee that the extra money will be used to build fish passages.

  • Created in cooperation with our partners, the Fish Passage Electricity is a new way to raise funds to build fish passages.
  • By choosing Fish Passage Electricity from an electricity company (and contributing a small fee) anyone can contribute to the building of fish passages.
  • The first fish passage that will be funded will be constructed in Mustionjoki-river in Southern Finland.
  • The concept will be later replicated in other parts of Finland, and abroad.

Billnäs Fish Passage
The planned fish passage is in Mustionjoki-river, Billnäs. After completing the construction of four fish passages, salmons will once again be able to spawn in the river. Picture: City of Raasepori.