GREENER AGRICULTURE FOR A BLUER BALTIC SEA ON THE AGENDA IN HELSINKI
Two EU projects join forces in seeking smart agricultural solutions against nutrient losses to the Baltic Sea.
The agro-environmental EU projects Baltic Compass and Baltic Deal are joining their forces in order to support sustainable agriculture in the Baltic Sea Region. The projects will organise “A greener agriculture for a bluer Baltic sea” conference in Helsinki 17th of November. The conference gathers together 150 participants representing farmers, scientists and ministry staff from all Baltic Sea regions countries. The conference will strengthen the cooperation and dialogue between different actors, discuss the green dimension of CAP, EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, and learn about the concrete experiences of the environmental work in agriculture. During the conference the WWF Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award will be announced. The competition finalists give perfect examples of practical solutions supporting sustainability.
The conference will be inaugurated by Minna-Mari Kaila, State Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Finland. The farmer perspective will be presented by Lars-Göran Pettersson, President of the Federation of Swedish Farmers. EU agricultural advisor Thomas Dworak will explain how the EU Water Framework Directive has been implemented with respect to agriculture.
“There is a growing demand of high quality food and biofuels produced in the Baltic Sea Region. At the same time there is an increasing need to move towards more sustainable agriculture and healthier ecosystems. This challenge can be solved only by a good dialogue and cooperation between all the actors in the environmental and agricultural sectors. We need to find solutions that benefit all: individual farmers, rural economy and the Baltic Sea. This conference is a good example of the cooperation”, says Staffan Lund, Baltic Compass project leader.
The conference starts on the 17th of November at 9.00 in Hotel Hilton Kalastajatorppa. The press conference will be held at 12.00 – 12.45 in the seminar room Katariina. During the press conference WWF will announce the winner of WWF Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award 2010. The winner is chosen amongst the national winners of the competition.
The joint conference is held in connection to the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region Priority 9 meeting organized by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Priority 9 covers the areas of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in the EU strategy.
About Baltic Compass
Baltic COMPASS promotes sustainable agriculture in the Baltic Sea region. The region’s 90 million inhabitants anticipate both high quality food produced in the region and a healthy environment, including a cleaner Baltic Sea. Baltic Compass looks for innovative solutions needed for the future of the region and its agriculture, environment and business. The special emphasis is set on finding ways to reduce nutrient leakage to the Baltic Sea
Baltic Compass is financed by the European Union as a strategic project for its contributions to investments and policy adaptation. The project will in a practical manner encompass the political visions of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and Priority 1 and Priority 9 of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The project’s 22 partners represent national authorities, interest organizations, scientific institutes and innovation centres from the Baltic Sea Region countries. Baltic Compass is a three-year project running until December 2012.
About Baltic Deal
Baltic Deal - Putting best agricultural practices into work – is a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region initiated by five farmers’ federations around the Baltic Sea. The long-term objective of Baltic Deal is to cost-effectively improve the environmental status of the Baltic Sea, without impairing competitiveness or production, through advancement and strengthening of agricultural advisory services and related demonstration activities addressing on-farm nutrient management. The seven partners from seven countries represent farmer federations and advisory organisations and is further supported by more than 30 associated partners. Baltic Deal is co-financed by the EU Baltic Sea region program 2007-2013 program and the NEFCO/NIB Baltic Sea Action Plan Trust fund and runs from September 2010 to December 2013.