Documentation of the meeting
The first Northern European Regional Meeting of the international 4 per 1000 Initiative took place in Helsinki, Finland from 6-8 June 2023. It was mainly and greatly organized by Baltic Sea Action Group. In this sense, we, the 4p1000 Initiative, would also like to say a very special THANK YOU to Baltic Sea Action Group and all the funders once again for so much commitment, in particular the Finish Ministry of Agriculture and Foresty.
On the first day, the speakers focused on framing the topic and the importance of soil health and shed light on the bottlenecks hindering the improvement of soil in general and in the north european region. The day ended with intriguing farmer stories and soil art. The farmer stories continued during dinner, as farmers told the guests about the food they had grown for the menu. Even still at dinner participants discussed the multiple benefits that soil health can offer, as well as the experienced challenges, and you could really tell that everyone’s heart was in it.
The second day started with inspiring presentations of finnish youth climate and nature delegates. Later, the audience heard and participated to 30 presentations in three parallel sessions, focusing on healthy soils for climate, biodiversity and water; soil carbon monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) as scientific basis for public and private incentives; and regional priority in northern europe: agricultural organic soils. Afterwards the main messages from these sessions were concluded in the final panel discussion.
The key messages of the conference were formulated to be presented at UNFCCC COP28:
They will be published in more detail later – in brief, however, the messages are as follows:
- Soil is the essential base of food production. We cannot produce enough good-quality food, locally or globally, without healthy soils.
- Now, soils are degrading, and we need actions to regenerate soil health urgently. This has also been recognized within the EU.
- We see the importance of knowledge transfer, peer-to-peer learning, and more advisory services on rebuilding soil health.
- We also see that, despite some indisputable improvements, the current CAP seems insufficient – we need the next CAP to be more ambitious to ensure more rapid transformation.
- While we need a reliable, state-of-the-art monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) system for soil carbon, we also need to keep in mind the other benefits of improving soil health and increasing biodiversity in agriculture
On the third day participants had the opportunity to visit an experimental farm (Qvidja) or the University of Helsinki’s research sites (Viikki) which was a round conclusion of this very successful conference.
In total the meeting brought together over 300 researchers, business and NGO representatives, farmers, and policymakers. Participants came from more than 30 different countries from different corners of Northern Europe and beyond. The biggest number of participants came from Finland, followed by Sweden, Norway, France, Poland, Denmark, Germany and Estonia.
Please have a look at this page to find a full overview of the speakers and the programme: https://eventee.co/en/e/1st-northern-european-4-per-1000-regional-meeting-more-carbon-in-the-soil-for-multiple-benefits-16448
The full report will be available soon.