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I read a report about Climate change and I got curious about the phrase "firmly in mind" written in the context below:

This analysis was performed with the Rio Branco declaration firmly in mind, examining many of the elements needed to achieve the ambitious deforestation reduction targets.

Is that just an expression? Or can I read it literally?

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    It's worth noting that you can eliminate the word firmly here and the meaning is pretty much unchanged: This analysis was performed with the Rio Branco declaration in mind...
    – J.R.
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 22:10

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It's a largely literal idiom; it refers to maintaining a strong consideration of or for the mentioned subject by keeping attention on it. Here, keeping the declaration firmly in mind means to think more than normal about how to ensure the declaration is fulfilled.

Of course, any thoughts one might have are not exactly firm in the sense of a physical object, but to the extent that any thought can be described as firm ("firm intentions", "mind set on it", etc), this is just more of the same.

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