Art and culture as promoters of sustainable development

09.11.21 | Declaration
The Nordic Ministers of Culture approved the following Declaration at their meeting in Copenhagen on 3 November 2021.



We, the Nordic Ministers of Culture,

regard art and culture as having an inalienable intrinsic value, so conditions relating to art and culture must be strengthened, and art and culture must be accessible to everyone in our societies. At the same time we see that cultural co-operation has much to offer in terms of supporting sustainable development of society. Through the co-operation, solutions are offered to secure good living conditions for current and future generations. Art and culture also help us to manage various global challenges, such as the climate crisis or the Covid-19 pandemic.

We emphasise that a green artistic and cultural life is important for the present and the future. The Nordic civil societies, and in particular children and young people, are active initiators and implementers within the Nordic culture sector in the green transition.

We, the Nordic Ministers of Culture, intend to:

  • Promote a vibrant and inclusive art and cultural life, open for all, that promotes quality, innovation, and artistic and cultural freedom and freedom of expression.
  • Promote new initiatives, ideas, and new knowledge for art, culture and media policy efforts that are sustainable in terms of the environment.
  • Promote the positive development that the creative industries have stimulated through green production and consumption.
  • Promote a sustainable use and protection of the cultural heritage in accordance with international conventions.
  • Make use of digitalisation, education, and language collaboration to further intensify the contacts between the Nordic countries in the art and culture sector, and to strengthen the international co-operation
  • Promote a positive development in the international co-operation on the environment and climate, for example, by showcasing sustainable Nordic solutions, by conducting an active dialogue, and by sharing information and experiences with the rest of the world, such as the Nordic cultural initiative, Nordic Bridges, in Canada in 2022.

We emphasise that all five pan-Nordic cultural institutions (Nordic House in Reykjavik, Nordic House in the Faroe Islands, Nordic Institute in Greenland, Nordic Institute on Åland, and Nordic Culture Point) have an important strategic mandate in culture policy. One of their tasks is to increase knowledge of and understanding for the role of art and culture as a basis for sustainable development. The work includes showing and mediating good examples, and encouraging green production, distribution, and consumption of culture.

We respect the distinctive ability of indigenous peoples to resolve challenges relating to sustainable development through their special knowledge that, throughout history, has been transferred between generations.

We support the Nordic Council of Ministers’ vision that the Nordic region is to be the world’s most sustainable and integrated region by 2030, and we will implement the Co-operation Programme on Culture Policy that we have adopted for 2021-2024. At the heart of the programme, culture stands as an all-embracing, free, and supporting force for sustainable development in our societies, and particularly in the efforts to attain a green, competitive, and socially sustainable Nordic region. We regard it as important that Vision 2030 offers the art and culture sector good opportunities for collaboration over sector boundaries.

We are participating actively in the work being done to promote sustainable development in various international contexts. We welcome events such as MONDIACULT 2022, UNESCO’s world conference on culture policy and sustainable development that Mexico is hosting.

Lilja Alfreðsdóttir

Minister of Education, Science and Culture



Minister for Culture and Ecclesiastical Affairs


Annika Hambrudd

Minister of Education and Culture


Antti Kurvinen

Minister of Science and Culture


Amanda Lind

Minister for Culture and Democracy


Peter P. Olsen

Ministry for Education, Culture, Sports and Church


Jenis av Rana

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Culture of the Faroe Islands


Anette Trettebergstuen

Minister of Culture and Equality