The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry steers Finnish policies relating to the sustainable use of natural resources in line with Finnish Government and EU policies. The principle of sustainable development emphasises that renewable natural resources must be used so that their value is preserved for the future, by meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Finland’s national strategy for sustainable development, entitled “Towards sustainable choices. A nationally and globally sustainable Finland”, was adopted in June 2006 by the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development and approved by the Government in December 2006.
The central idea behind the concept of sustainable development is to ensure the preconditions for good living for both present and future generations. Efforts are made to find a balance between human welfare, economies and the environment.
The main goals for sustainable development were defined at the Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. The most important goal is the eradication of poverty. The summit also resolved that the rate of biodiversity loss must be significantly reduced and the decline in fish populations must be stopped. Hazards caused by dangerous chemicals should be minimised, and a framework for sustainable production and consumption patterns must be established.
The principle of sustainability is widely applied in Finland
Measures based on the principle of sustainable development are applied widely in Finland, particularly in the contexts of natural resource use and rural development. The resolutions made at the Sustainable Development Summit are implemented through various programmes and strategies for different sectors.
Finland also seeks to apply the concept of sustainable development in development cooperation and in EU and international contexts.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has the main responsibility for applying the concept of sustainability in the use of renewable natural resources in Finland.
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