Ministers Leppä and Mikkonen: State of the Baltic Sea to be improved through joint action of the environment, agriculture and fisheries sectors
The EU ministers of the environment, agriculture and fisheries met on Monday 28 September to discuss joint action to improve the state of the Baltic Sea. The Finnish representatives at the meeting were Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä and Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen. Both ministers stress the need for dialogue between different sectors and the important role of cooperation in protecting the Baltic Sea.
The particular topics discussed by the Conference, chaired by the EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius, were eutrophication, marine litter and load on the marine environment, and fisheries.
Minister Krista Mikkonen stresses the role of a circular economy and sustainable production and consumption in solving the problems caused by marine plastic litter.
“The Plastics Roadmap for Finland is an important step towards a circular economy. The measures included in the roadmap will reduce littering and improve the recovery, recycling and replacement of plastics, while also creating demand for new innovations and investments,” Minister Mikkonen says.
The main task of agriculture and fisheries is to produce food, also in the Baltic Sea region. As a marine environment the Baltic Sea is highly vulnerable, which is why even more sustainable operations are needed.
In protecting the Baltic Sea a comprehensive approach must be adopted to sustainability, including the ecological, social and economic dimensions. Many good solutions have already been found.
“The solutions we already have should be brought into wider use. These include measures to promote biogas production and nutrient cycles, reducing the loss of phosphorus through gypsum application, and removing nutrients also by fishing. With this kind of solutions we can improve the state of the Baltic Sea, strengthen the profitability of food production, and create new business opportunities,” Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä says.
At the Conference the ministers signed a declaration, pledging to take further action and strengthen their commitment to the present measures on the EU level that aim to improve the state of the Baltic Sea.
Various stakeholders operating in the Baltic Sea region were also present at the Conference.
Risto Lampinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 162 458, [email protected]
Teppo Säkkinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 50 5162 868, [email protected]
Maria Laamanen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 50 3669 849, [email protected]
Antti Heikkinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, tel. +358 295 250 231, [email protected]