Practical development actions towards climate-resilient land use
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has granted funding to 38 Catch the Carbon development projects that are part of the package of climate actions for the land use sector. A total of EUR 10.4 million in funding was granted for 2021–2023. The projects will support agricultural producers, forest owners and other people who make land use decisions in introducing new climate-resilient practices.
The projects to be funded must be practical and based on scientific knowledge, and they must promote measures in the land use sector that promote climate change mitigation and adaptation. More than 80 applications were submitted. The projects selected contribute e.g. to the following objectives of the Catch the Carbon package that is also included in the Government Programme:
promoting the growth and health of forests
promoting the climate resilience of peaty arable lands
crop diversification including the cultivation and breeding of domestic protein crops
sustainable new uses for peatland beds
building of climate wetlands and development of growing media
more accurate soil data and inventory of forest vegetation and arable biomass
development of information systems related to climate change adaptation
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä stresses the important role of the development projects in furthering climate actions. The projects will be highly relevant when solutions based on scientific knowledge are brought to practice.
“Now we are supporting many practical projects that will reduce emissions from peaty lands and promote forest growth and carbon sequestration. Several projects were also chosen that will promote the opportunities to use wood on a long-term basis. All this work is based on comprehensive sustainability. Sustainable outcomes can be achieved when the economic and social impacts are also taken into account in climate work,” Minister Leppä says.
Projects link scientific research to diverse practical expertise
In the themes presented during the application process the focus was on the following actions: maintaining and strengthening carbon sinks and reservoirs in the soil and growing stock, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, climate change adaptation and preparation for this in agriculture and forestry, and production and use of soil and other data to support climate actions.
“The projects to be funded will contribute to the actions in a variety of ways and, as we had hoped, many of them will be implemented by consortia of research institutes, universities, businesses and associations,” says Jaakko Nippala, Chief Specialist at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
In the projects high-level scientific research is linked to diverse practical expertise, which will strengthen the utilisation of research knowledge. Significant investments in Catch the Carbon projects by private actors will also contribute to the achievement of the climate objectives for the land use sector.
When choosing the projects to be funded a particular focus was on actions that are close to practice and on how well the projects promote the objectives of the Catch the Carbon package as a whole. In addition, the projects must promote the different dimensions of sustainability in a balanced way. The assessment was conducted by public officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, assisted by experts from the Ministry of the Environment and Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.
The plan is to open one more application for funding for Catch the Carbon development projects in autumn 2021. The themes for this are now being prepared together with stakeholders.
The Catch the Carbon package launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry also includes an extensive interdisciplinary research and innovation programme and an information programme. Besides the projects, the objectives of Catch the Carbon are implemented by the new legislation on ash fertilisation and afforestation subsidies and new ownership policy outlines concerning Metsähallitus. The net impact set as the target for the measures is at least 3 Mt CO2 equivalent per year in 2035. The actions to be launched will also be included in the climate plan for the land use sector to be prepared by the end of 2021.
List of development projects to be funded (in Finnish)
Jaakko Nippala, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 29 516 2119 and Anna Salminen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 29 516 2002, email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname(at)mmm.fi
Teppo Säkkinen, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 50 516 2868, teppo.sakkinen(at)tem.fi