Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry provides EUR 7.3 million in funding for 19 new Catch the Carbon development projects – package of more than 100 projects promotes climate work in land use sector

News - Published 24.2.2022

The new Catch the Carbon projects will develop and pilot regional and local climate work, carbon markets and offsetting schemes in agriculture, forestry and other land use, and strengthen the knowledge base for greenhouse gas inventories.

The projects will supplement the Catch the Carbon package of climate measures launched in 2020 as part of the additional measures for the land use sector under the Government Programme. The aim is to achieve an annual climate impact of at least three million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2035. With the new funding decisions, the number of Catch the Carbon projects will rise to more than one hundred.

The supplementary call for applications opened in October 2021 brought in 55 applications concerning development projects. During this application round, a significant amount of funding was allocated to the development of carbon markets and carbon offsetting schemes. The new projects will also focus on the assessment of the climate impacts of zoning, prevention of forest damages, extended rotation, and strengthening the knowledge base for uneven-aged forest management. Besides these, the projects aim to strengthen farmers’ expertise in carbon farming and in proactive and flexible utilisation of farming practices.

“Each application has been through a comprehensive evaluation process. A key focus in this was on how well the project implements the objectives of the Catch the Carbon package. In addition, the evaluation also covered the feasibility and usability of the project, the expertise involved, and how well the project promotes sustainable development. The projects were of a very high quality and many good applications had to be rejected,” says Chief Specialist Reetta Sorsa who is responsible for the coordination of the Catch the Carbon package.

Besides the climate and environmental impacts, the Catch the Carbon projects are concerned with strengthening biodiversity, water management and social and economic sustainability. The information produced in the projects supports the implementation of the climate plan for the land use sector. The draft plan should be ready to be circulated for comments in early April.

“As we move towards carbon neutrality, it is also important to ensure economic sustainability and a just transition. It is a high priority for me that we will support climate work in agriculture and forestry, ensure the carbon sequestration and growth of forests and mitigate emissions,” says Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä.

New projects strengthen knowledge base of carbon markets

As part of the Catch the Carbon package, a preliminary study on carbon offsetting projects in the land use sector has already been completed. Since 2021 the Natural Resources Institute Finland has been preparing an information service in support of the voluntary carbon market, which is to be built during 2022 and 2023. The four projects that now will be funded from this package aim to strengthen the knowledge base of carbon markets by developing methods for carbon sequestration in agriculture, forestry and the soil.

In addition, the economic impacts of carbon markets will be assessed more extensively and cooperation between operators offering carbon offsets will be promoted to develop common rules for the sector. The aim is to find best practices and methods that are needed to ensure the reliability of voluntary carbon offsets.

The development of carbon markets will also be supported with a project to be launched under the information programme for the land use sector that will bring the calculation of greenhouse gases to the level of individual parcels and also take the cultivation measures and soil type into account. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, together with other ministries, is preparing measures to clarify the environment where the carbon markets should operate.

The Catch the Carbon package of climate measures is composed of cross-sectoral measures, development projects, an information programme and research and innovation programme that promote climate change resilience of agriculture, forestry and other types of land use. The five research and innovation projects funded by the supplementary call for applications were announced on 11 February.

With regard to projects that support the climate change resilience of forestry and biodiversity of forest nature that are included in Finland’s Sustainable Growth Programme, the negotiations with the European Commission and, thus, the timetable for the funding decisions are still open. The applicants will be informed of the matter when the exact timetable is known.

New development projects to be funded

Theme 1: Regional and local climate work

Co-planning of land use sector climate change mitigation in the Kiiminkijoki river catchment

  • Implemented by: Natural Resources Institute Finland, University of Oulu, Finnish Forest Centre
  • Contact person: Aleksi Räsänen / Natural Resources Institute Finland

Adaptive Carbon Farming

  • Implemented by: Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG)
  • Contact person: Eija Hagelberg / BSAG

Recovery of Sphagnum

  • Implemented by: Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, University of Eastern Finland
  • Contact person: Tuuli Hakulinen / Finnish Association for Nature Conservation

Regional solutions to mitigate climate impact on organic agricultural soils

  • Implemented by: Natural Resources Institute Finland
  • Contact person: Hanna Kekkonen / Natural Resources Institute Finland

Enhancing carbon accrual and crop productivity of clay fields of Southern Finland

  • Implemented by: Häme University of Applied Sciences, Natural Resources Institute Finland, ProAgria
  • Contact person: Jari Hyväluoma / Häme University of Applied Sciences

Land Use Planner’s Carbon Map Tool

  • Implemented by: Finnish Environment Institute, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Avoin
  • Contact person: Kari Oinonen / Finnish Environment Institute

Coordination of diversity and climate-resistant activities on poultry farms — regional and local pilots

  • Implemented by: Pyhäjärvi Institute, Finnish Poultry Association
  • Contact person: Reija Hietala / Pyhäjärvi Institute

Forest damage mitigation in southeastern Finland – developing and piloting a co-operational model for minimizing spruce bark beetle and root rot damages

  • Implemented by: Finnish Forest Centre, Natural Resources Institute Finland
  • Contact person: Pekka Kuitunen / Finnish Forest Centre

Knowledge-based carbon sequestering farming practices in Southwest Finland

  • Implemented by: Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners MTK – Southwest Finland, Valonia/Regional Council of Southwest Finland, ProAgria Western Finland / advice
  • Contact person: Aino Launto-Tiuttu, Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners MTK – Southwest Finland

Catch carbon on fields and headlands

  • Implemented by: Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Savo Vocational College, Ylä-Savo Vocational College
  • Contact person: Heli Tossavainen, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Improving the cropping reliability and climate change resistance of organic farming through mixed cropping and autumn-sown protein crops

  • Implemented by: Natural Resources Institute Finland, University of Helsinki, Häme University of Applied Sciences
  • Contact person: Sari Iivonen / Natural Resources Institute Finland

Possibilities and methods for improved carbon sequestration by extension of forest rotation age

  • Implemented by: Tapio, Finnish Forest Centre, Natural Resources Institute Finland
  • Contact person: Tommi Tenhola / Tapio

Effects of the return of water on carbon sequestration in managed forests

  • Implemented by: Tapio, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Finnish Forest Centre
  • Contact person: Samuli Joensuu

Theme 2: Carbon market experiments

Utilizing carbon markets and compensations to achieve carbon neutral food production

  • Implemented by: Natural Resources Institute Finland, Aalto University
  • Contact person: Janne Rämö / Natural Resources Institute Finland

Effects of potential carbon compensation trajectories

  • Implemented by: Pellervo Economic Research
  • Contact person: Paula Horne

Commercialising the improved forest growth from longer rotation period and fertilization

  • Implemented by: Metsänhoitoyhdistysten palvelu MHYP (Forest Management Associations Service)
  • Contact person: Jouni Tiainen / MHY

    Carbon Sink Community Finland

  • Implemented by: Rud Pedersen Public Affairs Company
  • Contact person: Kimmo Collander / Rud Pedersen Public Affairs Company

Theme 3: Implementation of the information programme for the land use sector

Towards parcel-specific greenhouse gas calculation: new emission factors and model solutions and updatable system, LOHKO-KHK

  • Implemented by: Finnish Meteorological Institute, Natural Resources Institute Finland
  • Contact person: Jari Liski / Finnish Meteorological Institute

Including continuous cover forestry models into forest data of Finnish Forest Centre

  • Implemented by: Finnish Forest Centre, Natural Resources Institute Finland
  • Contact person: Miia Saarimaa / Finnish Forest Centre

The aim of the Catch the Carbon package of climate measures coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is to strengthen the competence and knowledge base related to climate work in the land use sector and support agricultural producers, forest owners and other parties who make land use decisions in developing and introducing climate change resilient practices. Read more about the package and about the projects that have already been funded at mmm.fi/en/climate-plan-for-the-land-use-sector

Related links:

EUR five million in funding for new Catch the Carbon research and innovation projects (press release 11 February 2022)

Package of climate measures for the land use sector

 

Inquiries:

Reetta Sorsa
Chief Specialist, Coordinator of the Catch the Carbon programme
+358 29 516 2087
reetta.sorsa@gov.fi

Tatu Torniainen
Ministerial Adviser (carbon market and offsetting projects)
+358 29 516 2326
tatu.torniainen@gov.fi

Joel Järvinen
Senior Specialist (forest projects)
+358 29 516 2113
joel.jarvinen@gov.fi

Anna Salminen
Senior Specialist (agriculture projects)
+358 29 516 2002
anna.salminen@gov.fi

Tia-Maria Virtanen
Senior Specialist (land use change and wetland projects)
+358 29 516 2066
tia-maria.virtanen@gov.fi

Press release from Finland’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 24.2.2022