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Nidaros Declaration

- addressing the responsibility of the primary industries and the food sector for green growth.

Adopted

Date: Jun 28, 2012

Location: Trondheim

Nordic Council of Ministers for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Agriculture, Foodstuffs and Forestry (MR-FJLS)


We, the Nordic Ministers for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Agriculture, Food and Forestry (MR-FJLS), meeting in Trondheim on 28 July 2012, emphasise that the primary production and food industries are key factors to green growth.

The goal is increased sustainability and competitive production within the MR-FJLS sectors of food, feedstuff, building and construction work, bioenergy and new innovative products from the land, sea and water. This is the FJLS sectors' most important contribution to growth and welfare.

MR-FJLS will therefore focus on initiatives that will help to strengthen green economic growth:

  • More efficient, sustainable and ecosystem-based use of renewables, land, marine and aquatic natural resources, including increased focus on breeding activities and breeding aimed at adaptation to climate change and improved product quality
  • More efficient use of residual materials and waste and reduced shrinkage in the value chain and with the consumer
  • Growth, profitable companies and new businesses based on services and products from the primary industries such as CO2 sequestration, recovery and recycling of plant nutrients, welfare and recreational services etc.
  • Increased economic growth based on improved food quality, healthy foods, and regional and local advantages, including the co-operative project New Nordic Food
  • Food quality, healthy foods and diet from a nutritional, health and economic growth perspective.
  • Work towards achieving framework conditions, including government regulations and measures, to promote the development of increased biological production in the Nordic Region on a sustainable basis 
  • Research, innovation and education initiated by the Nordic Council of Ministers possible establishment of one or several more test centres for green solutions within the FJLS sectors
  • Strengthened co-operation between the Nordic Council of Ministers and other Nordic ventures in the area, such as NordForsk, Nordic Innovation and regional co-operation such as NORA
  • Co-ordination with the European Commission's focus on bioeconomy.
  • Co-operation with neighbours in the east and west.

Background

Sustainable development, food safety, a biobased society and green growth are some of the most pressing global challenges that the Nordic countries have to deal with. According to MR-FJLS's assessment this requires the sustainable use of resources in the primary industries and food sector to support the Nordic Council of Ministers in their work for green growth.

The Nordic prime ministers presented the report "The Nordic Region – leading the way in green growth" in November 2011, and the high level UN Conference on Sustainable Development RIO+20 finished in June 2012. The main theme in Rio was green economic growth, sustainable management of the world's biological resources, safe drinking water and global food safety in a rapidly changing world.

The areas of responsibility under MR-FJLS are key for green growth, and will be given a higher priority in the future. With help from their institutions and co-operative bodies like NordGen, Nordic Forest Research Co-operation Committee (SNS), AG Fisk and the Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research (NKJ), MR-FJLS will contribute to the development of a more bio-based economy in the Nordic countries.

Global population growth and increased standards of living in many countries will lead to the need for increased production in keeping with the biological conditions and comparative advantages. Increased production, however, must be sustainable in the long-term and take place with the environmental limits of tolerance.

The Nordic countries have an abundant supply of natural resources in the sea, lakes and on land, which may provide the basis for future growth. Sustainable and progressive development of society and a green economy is unthinkable without the production of food and other biobased products from the sea, lakes, agriculture and outlying land.

The sectors under MR-FJLS are strongly integrated with each other and in a number of value chains in society. Today's challenges linked to climate trends, the need for a greater commitment on global food safety, the need for more sustainable management of natural resources etc. are inter-sectoral, and MR-FJLS provides active co-operation with other sectors, especially in research and innovation to achieve the goals which have been set.

A strategy for green growth must be inter-sectoral with a global perspective. All value chains, including the processing industry for aquatic and land-based natural resources must be included.

A strategy for green growth must also encourage innovation in the primary industries and in industries that result in sustainable products, healthy and sustainable food, reduced food waste and better use of resources.

In the food sector emphasis must be placed on food quality, proper diets and an adequate food supply for a growing global population. In forestry emphasis must be placed on sustainable production of products that will replace less climate-friendly solutions and in all the MR-FJLS sectors considerable emphasis must be placed on the production of energy resources that will reduce the use of fossil fuels.