Territory and special features of southeast Finland
Southeast Finland Regional Environment Centre is a local authority whose territory covers the provinces of Kymenlaakso and Southern Karelia. The area consists of 18 municipalities with a population of approximately 320,000.
Of the 12,800 km2 area, about 30% is water. The most significant waterways are the River Kymijoki, the River Vuoksi, Lake Saimaa and the eastern Baltic Sea. The first Salpausselkä Ridge divides the area into two sections that are geographically different from each other.
Large-scale industries, especially the wood processing industries and energy producers, have made massive investments in Southeastern Finland in the past few years. Also the ports have developed their operations to meet future challenges. These elements have contributed to the growth of traffic and storage in the area. An exterior factor, due to our position between the EU and Russia, is the increased traffic to and from Russia by road, rail and sea. The flow of traffic, especially oil and chemical transportation with their resulting emissions, is an increasing environmental problem. The new oil harbours in Russia and the increase of oil transportation add a crucial element to the environmental risks to our coasts.