The unit provides scientific and technical support for the research projects of the department and elsewhere in northern Finland, and advances international collaboration and networking. The collections are main regional repository of biodiversity information. This information is broadly needed in different sectors of the society, such as biodiversity conservation or land use management. The collections are key resource in the assessment of the status and distribution of threatened species. The collections of botanical garden are crucial in preservation of genetic resources and developing ex situ conservation. The units belong to the national network on long-term socio-economic research LTSER). The public exhibitions are popular venues for education, recreation and study. The activities of the unit have been coordinated together with the Finnish Museum of Natural History.