Sustainable development partnerships
In November 2001, the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development and the parliamentary environmental and future committees jointly set up a new national sustainable development partnership process, consisting of a series of partnerships based on voluntary measures. Partners from various sectors were invited to make specific commitments for the future, according to which they actively promote sustainable development through measures they devise themselves.
A wide range of organisations and projects
A total of 21 organisations subsequently made their own commitments on sustainable development at special seminars held in parliament. The organisations involved include non-governmental organisations (NGOs), businesses, corporate or NGO umbrella organisations, administrative sectors and local authorities. Partnership projects were initially divided into various areas: green public purchasing policies, sustainable production and product planning, planning of the residential environment, sustainable transport solutions, the protection of the Baltic Sea, the promotion of bio-energy and energy savings, occupational health and safety in the private sector, and the sustainable information society. Various projects were set up around these themes.
Goals set within partner organizations
The organizations involved have all set their own targets, and must also ensure that the necessary resources are available, and monitor their own progress. Although the Secretariat of the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development follow the work and support networks of contacts, it does not have any control over the national partnership projects. The main idea behind such commitments and partnerships is to encourage the organizations to become proactive and initiative.
All the commitments made within the national partnerships were linked to aspects of the Finnish Government´s Sustainable Development Programme from 1998. Many of the commitments and partnerships also focus on issues for which there are separate national plans or strategies, such as the protection of the Baltic Sea, and the promotion of bio-energy and energy savings.
As for international partnerships for sustainable development the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) is the focal point. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has compiled a table of those international partnerships where Finnish stakeholders are involved.
Senior Advisor Annika Lindblom, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 400 143 919