Freshabit LIFE restores freshwater habitats in Finland


EKOenergy and the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC) participate in the EU LIFE project for freshwater habitats that runs from 2016-2022. Metsähallitus (the Forest and Park Service in Finland) coordinates this large-scale project. Other partners include state and local authorities as well as non-governmental organisations. The goal of the FRESHABIT project is to improve the ecological state of lakes, rivers, and streams in Finland. The methods used range from hands-on river restoration to environmental education and research.

What is the role of EKOenergy in the project?

We communicate about the impact of hydropower

During the project, we disseminate information about the impacts of hydropower on nature and about possibilities to mitigate these impacts.

  • We organised a seminar on fish passages. The materials are available at
  • We produced an easy-to-understand website on the impacts of hydropower on nature, and about how to mitigate them. Most of the site is in Finnish, but some pages are available in English too. See
  • Each year we meet a number of large energy consumers and encourage them to take into account the impact their energy consumption has on nature.
  • We set up a hydropower campaign in 2018.

We updated EKOenergy’s criteria for hydropower

As part of the Freshabit project, we have updated EKOenergy’s hydropower criteria. For these new criteria see chapter 8.3.C of our criteria for EKOenergy-labelled electricity.



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.