Finland promotes environmental protection, stability, vitality and viability in the Arctic Region

Government Communications Department 4.10.2016 17.20 | Published in English on 5.10.2016 at 16.40
Press release 419/2016

The Government has outlined the strategic priorities of the Finnish Arctic Strategy. Finland aims to be a leading actor in international Arctic policy. According to Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, Finland wishes to strengthen environmental protection and security policy stability in the Arctic and enhance the vitality of the region, in line with the principles of sustainable development. - By making even better use of Finnish expertise in the region we can achieve significant impacts on growth and employment, says Prime Minister Sipilä.

The Finnish Arctic Strategy was discussed in the Government strategy session on 26 September. The main elements of the Strategy published in 2013 are still valid.

The Government priorities lie in foreign and EU policy and infrastructure relating to the Arctic, arctic expertise and sustainable tourism. The priorities will be used to draw up an action plan, with the responsibility for putting it into practice and monitoring resting with the relevant ministries.

Finland responds to the climate change and environmental protection challenges through international cooperation. The main channels of influence are the Chairmanship in the Arctic Council and international agreements and organisations. Promoting the interests of indigenous peoples is among the key elements of the Finnish Arctic policy.

Finland wishes to achieve growth and competitiveness, for example, in the cleantech and bioeconomy sectors via Arctic operations, with due respect for the environment. The aim is to produce key solutions to problems relating to the development of the Arctic.

Finland to chair the Arctic Council in 2017–2019

The priorities for Finland's Chairmanship in the Arctic Council were approved in the Government strategy session. Finland will chair the Arctic Council in 2017–2019. During these two years, Finland will emphasise the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN sustainable development goals in Arctic cooperation.

Together with the United States, which currently chairs the Arctic Council, Finland wishes to strengthen the Council by securing its continuity. Finland will consult all the member states and associations of indigenous peoples about the Chairmanship Programme. In the economic issues the aim is to engage in close collaboration with the Arctic Economic Council. Chairmanship in the Arctic Council provides the opportunity for Finland to strengthen its Arctic image and make Finland even better known as an expert in operating in cold conditions.

Inquiries: Nina Brander, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 160 347, Prime Minister's Office (Arctic Strategy) and Aleksi Härkönen, Ambassador for Arctic Affairs (Chairmanship in the Arctic Council), tel. +358 295 350 471