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Conclusions on sustainable agriculture from five years of Järki project
The results and conclusions from the first five years of project Järki, a.k.a “Sensible enhancement of water protection and biodiversity in agriculture” were published on Friday December 13th 2013. Another reason to celebrate came as the chairman of the project‘s steering group and the co-founder of BSAG, Ilkka Herlin, got an invitation to receive a Honorary Doctorate by the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry of University of Helsinki in June 2014.
The Järki project is a co-operation project between Baltic Sea Action Group and The Nature and Game Management Trust Finland. The first five-year period of the project was summed up in the seminar at the Finlandia-hall. The project started at the grass root level; advisors visited some 140 farms to help find sustainable solutions both from the environmental perspective and farmers’ economical perspective.
In the process the project collected a lot of valuable information about the bureaucratic bottlenecks which are currently preventing farmers from implementing environmentally friendly practices. The amount of paper work and unpredictable changes in regulations accounted for typical problems. The detailed list of the bottlenecks has been taken to the decision makers with the recommendations for changes.
The project concluded that there is an urgent need for joint national strategy on sustainable agriculture, based on encompassing dialog. Joint strategy would bring continuity for the environmental governance and thus encourage farmers to invest in environmental measures. A strategic dialogue between the agri-environmental stakeholders could also generate better and thus more effective coordination between the sectors of governance. Järki project also emphasized the need for farmers’ advisory activities as well as need for cross-sectional communication.
The goals and achievements of Järki-project mirror the reasoning for the nomination of Ilkka Herlin as a Honorary Doctor by the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry of University of Helsinki. The main argument for the invitation for Honorary Doctorate was Mr. Herlin’s work for saving the Baltic Sea and promoting sustainable agriculture as means to it.
One example of this work has been being the chairman of the Järki-project steering group and promoting the implementation of the academic research to practice – and distributing the knowledge from the practical level to the decision makers.
Järki project started in January 2009. It is funded among others by Louise and Göran Ehrnrooth Foundation, Sophie von Julin Foundation, The Finnish Cultural Foundation and Ministry of Environment.