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Project on climate solutions in the land use sector aims to considerably strengthen the net carbon sink

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 11.6.2020 18.04 | Published in English on 12.6.2020 at 14.48
Press release

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has launched an extensive package of climate measures for the agriculture, forestry and other land use sectors. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use and maintain and strengthen carbon sinks and reservoirs. The net impact set as the target to 2035 for the additional measures is 3 Mt CO2 equivalent.

The Government Programme contains several climate measures concerning agriculture, forestry and other land use, aimed to contribute to the achievement of the Carbon Neutral Finland 2035 target. This project is a concrete step forward in implementing these decisions.

The three key themes of the project are a climate-sustainable agriculture, climate-sustainable forestry, and other measures related to land use, including the reduction of forest loss and construction of multifunctional wetlands.

More background information is still needed, which is why the project will also include an information programme and an extensive research, development and innovation programme. Concrete experiments and pilots will also be in a key position in the project.

Large number of participants in the opening webinar

The opening seminar, organised as a webinar due to the coronavirus situation, attracted almost 300 participants, representing a broad spectrum of stakeholders. One of the key objectives of the project is to involve the whole society in climate work. Through their consumer decisions individual people can also make an impact on how food is produced in the future and what is used as raw material to manufacture different kinds of products.

“Agriculture and forestry are quite unique sectors of economy as they produce renewable raw materials and food while at the same time contributing to carbon sequestration. This is not the case in any other sector,” Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä said in his opening address at the webinar.

In his speech Minister Leppä also stressed the role of the land use sector in creating green growth and economic recovery. In the use of natural resources we are shifting towards a bioeconomy and circular economy that are based on renewable natural resources.

Tuula Packalen, the newly appointed Director-General of the Natural Resources Department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, agrees with this. In her presentation she told more about the concrete content of the project.

“Growing forests sequester carbon from the atmosphere and store it in trees and soil. Carbon is also stored in long-living wood products such as wooden buildings. Biomass obtained from forests and arable crops can be used to substitute for non-renewable raw materials and energy sources, and the sustainability of the whole food system can be improved through higher energy and material efficiency and by reducing emissions from food production.”

In the concluding address Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Jaana Husu-Kallio, stressed the significance of concrete climate actions and regionally balanced development. Other speakers at the webinar were the project’s Research Programme Manager Johanna Kohl, Director Juha Nousiainen from Valio’s carbon-neutral milk chain programme, Tony Hyden from Lapinjärven Farmarit farmers’ cooperative and Director of Communications Terhi Koipijärvi from Metsähallitus.

Opening address by Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä (YouTube video)
Read more about the project, including presentations and a recording of the webinar (in Finnish)

Inquiries at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry:
Heikki Granholm, Senior Ministerial Adviser, chair of the project group, tel. +358 29 516 2130, [email protected]

Bioeconomy CAP Climate change Farm animals Food and agriculture Forest programme Forests Jari Leppä Local food MMM032:00/2020 Natural resources Nature and climate Research and development Rural areas Support payments Water