The extractive industry represents a great opportunity for Finland, provided that it is developed in a sustainable way economically, socially and environmentally. The objective is that Finland will become a forerunner in sustainable development in the extractive industry.
This is a statement from the in the Action Programme for the Extractive Industry published by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy on 29.4.2013.
Sustainable extractive operations will, above all, be carried out by companies. The operating environment and public sector create the preconditions and support companies in applying the principles of sustainable development. The adoption of the principles for sustainable development can be accelerated through cooperation between different actors and stakeholder groups. Measures taken by the industry concerning water management, the utilization of gangue and improving safety can reduce emissions to the environment. In addition, it is proposed that companies take measures for more active cooperation with stakeholder groups and more open communications.
The mining industry is welcome to Finland but not at any cost. The industry has to respect the environmental, social and economic requirements of sustainable development. It is necessary to take account of the contradictions between different business sectors when developing the extractive industry. In particular, tourism and environmental protection organisations, and the cooperatives of reindeer herdsmen have expressed their concern about the negative impacts caused by mines.
The Action Programme proposes improvements in management, training, research and infrastructure. The objective is, among other things, to speed up the application process for permits, and to prevent conflicts of interest between different industries and natural assets. The development of the extractive industries, the further processing of metals, and also other industries such as tourism, require a reliable investment environment and its predictable continuation. The adoption of measures bringing about sustainable development will be speeded up by increasing cooperation domestically and with leading mining countries.
The Action Programme presents proposals for 35 measures. The preparation of the programme has been a significant new forum for the meeting of parties representing different interests.
The Action Programme has been created as a result of the round table discussions led by Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori, Minister of Labour Lauri Ihalainen, and Minister of the Environment Ville Niinistö, and the concrete action proposals that have been worked on by ten groups of experts. The preparation of the programme has been coordinated by the Strategic Programme for Cleantech of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
Source: Ministry of Employment and the Economy