Making it happen – Best practices from Finland
The United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg 2002) urged the international community to move from words to concrete action in order to work towards sustainable development. This folder presents some of Finland's efforts to achieve this aim. These examples of actions promoting sustainable development and the Johannesburg plan of implementation include projects in Finland as well as partnerships with other countries and regions.
The best practices range from policy frameworks to business solutions, from innovations and technology transfer to capacity building and facilitating cooperation. The cross-cutting nature of sustainable development is reflected in examples of wide-ranging policy frameworks. Sustainable consumption and production is another important theme interlinking the examples.
In this 2006 edition, we have chosen best practices reflecting the current themes of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development – energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution and climate change. This web page also presents best practices from the 2005 and 2004 editions, with a focus on the themes of water and human settlements.
Environmental protection and sustainable development policies are already well established and effectively implemented in Finland. Proposals for a new national programme for sustainable consumption and production were published in summer 2005. The government is currently renewing the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, and the National Climate and Energy Strategy was submitted to Parliament in 2005. Furthermore, a National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change has also been prepared, one of the first of its kind in the world.Finland has been the leading country in the world in World Economic Forum's Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) since 2000 (see graph). Finland successfully reduced air and water pollution, and has a high institutional capacity to handle environmental problems.
The World Economic Forum ranks countries according to their economic competitiveness and environmental sustainability. The figures for 2002 indicate that competitiveness and environmental protection can be mutually supportive.
This folder has been prepared under the supervision of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, with important contributions from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Finnish Environment Institute, Motiva Oy, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the University of Tampere, Helsinki School of Economics, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and the Lifelong Learning Institute Dipoli.
We hope that others may benefit from these examples when considering and preparing action and policies related to sustainable development or sustainable consumption and production.
The brochures can be downloaded free of charge and cited with proper information of the authors.
Sustainable Consumption and Production
Energy for Sustainable Development
Air Pollution and Climate Change