TALLINN – Minister of the Environment Madis Kallas on Thursday gave the government an overview of the implementation of Estonia's Earth's crust policy for 2017-2021.
The most important activities carried out since the adoption of the document on the main principles of the Earth's crust policy are the organization of state structures and the creation of the geological competence of the state, as well as the science-based study of the potential and the resources of the Earth's crust in Estonia, the government's communications office said.
In order to better organize the activities related to the Earth's crust, the relevant responsibilities are divided between the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. The Ministry of the Environment develops the policy for the protection and use of the Earth's crust, while a department for mineral resources has been established at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, and a separate agency, the Geological Survey of Estonia, established in the administrative area of same ministry.
"Over the past five years, we have gained a much better knowledge of the Earth's crust resources of Estonia," Kallas said in a press release. "Work is ongoing to develop new technologies for better and more sustainable use of the resources of the Earth's crust. In addition, we will continue to look for solutions to reduce our dependence on non-renewable natural resources," the minister added.
When carrying out Earth's crust research, the focus of the state is on phosphate rock and associated solid bedrock.
Compared to the past, the use of resources of the Earth's crust has become more sustainable and more consistent with the principles of the circular economy. For example, where less than 40 percent of the mineral waste from oil shale was recycled in Estonia in 2016, the ratio has now risen to 60 percent.
Compared to five years ago, other things have changed as well. Metadata from the reports of the information system of the Geological Survey of Estonia with spatial features is now available for use by professionals. The geological base map of Estonia has been supplemented with several map sheets, for example for Hiiumaa, Parnu and Ikla.
A field base and a drill core storage facility at Arbavere is under construction. All state-owned drill cores, which are located in 25,500 boxes and have a total length of nearly 120,000 meters, will be brought together in that complex.
The Riigikogu adopted the basic principles of the Earth's crust policy of Estonia on July 6, 2017. In order to ensure regular reporting, it has been agreed that from 2021, no less than every four years, the government will submit to the Riigikogu an overview of the implementation of the basic principles of the Earth's crust policy. The document is also reviewed and, if necessary, updated every four years.