Rationale behind ACAF
Climate change mitigation and adaptation to climate change are some of the key development challenges in the 21st century, and they influence economy, food production and the sustainability, utilisation and management of natural resources. These development challenges are changing operating methods throughout the world. UN Sustainable Development Goals are a comprehensive guideline for our efforts towards a more responsible and sustainable economy. The Arctic is particularly susceptible to the impact of climate change. Climate actions that utilise already existing climate resilience solutions and develop new tools and means to manage weather and climate risks are therefore especially urgent. All the challenges involving the Arctic are also global challenges, and responding to them requires more extensive cross-sectoral cooperation.
Climate change also emphasises the role of Arctic food production, as the cleanliness and clean water resources in the Arctic enable the production of clean foods of a high quality. Food safety aspects are also important in the food industry. Opportunities pertaining to these must be utilised, and ways to develop the industry’s competitiveness must be found with other Arctic parties while promoting the sustainability of Arctic communities. Respecting and utilising the expertise of indigenous peoples as part of the development work is therefore important. On the other hand, agriculture and related industries in the Arctic must prepare for the future challenges brought on by climate change. The need to manage sustainability as a whole is shared by all parties active in the Arctic, because interest in the Arctic is increasing, and the changing climate simultaneously poses challenges for the management of weather and climate risks.
There is already strong cooperation in Finland between different parties active in the fields of bioeconomy and circular economy, between different sectors and between parties from other countries. The cooperation is still uncoordinated, and many developers of innovative solutions and other parties may have been left outside the networks thus highlighting the importance of a coordination project such as ACAF.