Sharing good practices provide most sustainable local solutions and strengthen the state of sustainable development in the region.
6 February 2011
Sharing good practices provide most sustainable local
Sharing good practices and multiplying new
solutions contribute to cooperation and
entrepreneurship, create new partnerships and
socio-cultural models and strengthen the state of
sustainable development in the region, according to
the experts gathered at the Nordic Conference on
Sustainable Development in the Baltic Sea Region.
'The Solutions local, together' conference, held in the city of Turku, Finland, aimed at bringing
sustainable solutions available for all Nordic countries and countries in the wider Baltic Sea Region
and inspiring various actors to change their practices, working methods, services and products also
in the long term.
The conference brought together more than 550 experts - local authorities and other stakeholders,
and representatives of the business world - from 19 countries.
At the event, the participitants shared positive experiences - from innovations and operation models
to knowledge, ways of thinking, attitudes and products - while offering municipalities and other
local actors genuinely productive and practical ideas.
Strengthening the inter-linkage of economic, social and environmental aspects in creating win-win
solutions for local authorities, companies, communities and citizens is of importance.
Through example and commitment different actors inspire to change their practices and working
culture into more sustainable ones.
In her opening speech, Mari Kiviniemi, Prime Minister of Finland, highlighted the pioneering role
of the Nordic region in sustainable development.
In their panel discussion, the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation pointed out that climate change is
not only a threat but also an under-utilized opportunity for the green economy and finding new
solutions for sustainable development.
?A lot is currently going on in the area of sustainable development in the Nordic countries and the
Baltic Sea area,? said Senior Adviser Annika Lindblom, Finnish Ministry of the Environment.
?It is important that local actors as well as developers and users of innovations can meet to share
their experiences and ideas,? said Ms Lindblom, who led the preparatory group for the conference.
Examples of sustainable local solutions
Through the various workshops and discussions, new solutions were sought for creative urban
planning, sustainable consumption, protection of the Baltic Sea, combating of climate change, and
renewable energy use.
The best practical solutions for combating climate change were also recognized at the event. The
awards went to the ECO2 - Eco-efficient Tampere 2020 project of the City of Tampere and to the
snowcooling project of Snowpower AB and the County Council of Västernorrland, Sweden.
The main idea of sustainable development is to get more and more from less and less. Regarding
climate and energy, Professor Peter Lund, Aalto University, pointed out in his speech that
restricting global warming to two degrees would only cost each and every one of us the same as a
cup of coffee per day for the next 40-50 years.
He called for radical solutions and innovations to promote sustainable energy production.
?Currently, the Baltic Sea area consumes a significant proportion of Europe's energy, but it is also
an important producer and exporter of energy. In proportional terms, the use of renewable energy is
higher here than in other parts of the EU, however, it could still be considerably higher,? Lund said.
All in terms of sustainable development
The conference was organized by the Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Education and
Culture, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of
Finance, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Centre for Economic
Development, Transport and the Environment for Southwest Finland, City of Turku, and Union of
the Baltic Cities.
It was held with as low carbon footprint as possible. This was reached through minimizing
transportation, using local gatering products and environmentally friendly suppliers, eliminating
disposable products, and recycling or reusing all possible materials after the conference.
The conference was the forth in the series of Nordic Conferences on Sustainable Development.
Previous events were held in Gothenburg, Sweden 2004, in Oslo, Norway in 2006 and in Odense,
Denmark in 2008.
More solutions for sustainable development will be explored later in Umeå, Sweden, which will
host the next conference.
'The Solutions local, together' conference marked the start of the Finnish Presidency of the Nordic
Council of Ministers. Climate change is the theme of the Finnish Presidency, which aims to
transform the Nordic region into a stronger and more unified climate leader.
Conference program and sustainable solutions
EU leaders agree on efforts to enhance green growth