The Finnish Government has decided to abolish the Finnish Council for Natural Resources. The activities of the Council have been coordinated at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Work on matters which used to be dealt with at the Council will continue in the context of the implementation of strategies and actions outlined in the Government Report on Natural Resources.
The Council for Natural Resources, first appointed in the early 1980s, had an advisory role in promoting sustainable and diverse use, management and protection of natural resources. It was appointed separately for each parliamentary term according to the distribution of seats among the political parties.
The Council has given proposals, statements and reports on matters relating to renewable natural resources with the aim to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and enhance environmental protection, mainly in the fields governed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Now that the sustainable use of natural resources is even more closely than before integrated in the regular activities of different sectors and we have a solid scientific base for decision-making and the related preparation, the Council for Natural Resources no longer has a similar role as before.
The national natural resource policy has been outlined in the Strategy for Renewable Natural Resources in Finland (Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra 2009) and Government Report to the Parliament on Natural Resources (2010). The objectives of the Government Report relate to the climate and energy policy, protecting biodiversity, and the diverse benefits which can be derived in a sustainable manner from renewable natural resources, such as forests.
According to the Government Report, "the position of the natural resource policy is reinforced by setting up a high-level central government body which is responsible for comprehensive development and coordination of natural resource policy and reports directly to the Prime Minister" and "possibilities to combine the Economic Council and Council for Natural Resources and other options for bringing together the knowledge and information on economic affairs and natural resources will be examined".
The work on the Government Report on Natural Resources will continue as set out in the Programme of Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen's Government, with the decisions on future actions to be made later on.