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Finland signed commitment to promote sustainable and fair use of water

Ministry of Agriculture and ForestryMinistry of the Environment
5.11.2021 15.32 | Published in English on 5.11.2021 at 15.45
Press release
vesi

At the Climate Change Conference today, Finland signed the Glasgow Declaration for Fair Water Footprints. This is the first international commitment concerning responsible use of water. Water is in a key position in climate change adaptation, as well as in the mitigation efforts Finland was asked to sign the declaration as one of the leading countries in water responsibility.

Our water footprint has impacts on millions of people around the world. More than half of the water footprint of us Finns originates from abroad through the value and supply chains of companies and their international branch offices. For example, it takes 1,000 litres of water to produce a litre of milk, and 8,000 litres of water to make a pair of jeans. Households account for only three per cent of the total water consumption of Finns.

Responsible use of water has a critical role in the efforts to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to adapt to the droughts and floods that will be increasing as climate change proceeds. Water responsibility means using water in a way that is environmentally sustainable while making sure that the use of water is also socially and culturally just and economically profitable. 

The objectives of the Declaration and the commitments targeted to the states are well in line with Finland’s national policy, legislation and the work done to promote water responsibility. The objective of Finland’s International Water Strategy is to make Finland and the Finnish companies the most responsible water stewards in the world by 2030. The aim is also to promote responsible production and consumption with respect to use of water.

In addition, the Finnish Water Stewardship Commitment launched in 2017 challenges companies to identify water-related risks in their value chains and to make sure that their places of business and subcontractors use water in a way that is sustainable. The Water Stewardship Commitment has been signed by a large number of major Finnish companies. 

Finland wants to promote and advocate water responsibility very strongly in international contexts as well. The Declaration for Fair Water Footprints is an important step forward in this work. Among the signatories are states, companies and NGOs. On behalf of Finland, the Declaration was signed by Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä and Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen. Water responsibility is promoted in extensive cooperation among the different stakeholders, both nationally and internationally. 

Inquiries:

Antti Parjanne, Chief Specialist, Water Resources Management, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 295 162 071, antti.parjanne(at)gov.fi 
Turo Hjerppe, Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 204, turo.hjerppe(at)gov.fi 
 

Jari Leppä Krista Mikkonen Water