From time to time I am asked, which science is the stronger one, ecology or economy. The answer is obvious. Ecology sets the framework for all human activities, including and especially the economy. There is no sustainable economic or social development if we keep breaching ecological limits.

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Active international cooperation is a key issue in meeting the biggest challenges of our time, such as climate change, overconsumption of natural resources and turning our economies to a sustainable path. Open exchanges of ideas and bringing people from different educational, professional and cultural backgrounds to work together often leads to the best possible results in developing solutions to multifaceted challenges.

As an organic farmer, I  participated in numerous international events. During my farming carrier I had voluntary or paid workers and practicians from more than 20 countries. I learned a lot from them. I hope they learned a lot on my farm too.

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The year 2015 was an extremely important one for international efforts to enhance sustainable development globally. First, all the countries of the world agreed upon 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their implementation plan, Agenda 2030. For the first time ever, there are shared goals for all countries to work for socially, environmentally and economically sustainable development. Later in 2015, we succeeded in negotiating the Paris Climate Agreement. Again, the majority of states were committed to working towards its goal of keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius.

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The Baltic Sea is one of the key things that makes Helsinki the city it is. In addition to beauty and diverse possibilities for relaxing it provides us with a gateway to the world and its oceans.
 
Unfortunately, the Baltic is not doing great. Eutrophication remains a big problem that hampers achieving a good status of the sea.
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Feeding a rapidly growing world in the face of climate change and resource scarcity will be an immense challenge and test for human ingenuity. The effects of climate change on food production around the world are accelerating and could lead to more than 500,000 deaths by the year 2050, according to a grim new study. Rising temperatures, more frequent droughts and extreme weather events will result in crop productivity losses for farmers in many parts of the world.

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Slush 2017 Global Impact Community Event participants

Slush is a startup and tech conference organised annually in Helsinki, Finland. Last year Slush took place 30 Nov - 1 Dec 2017. The event which was established in 2008 by a few techies and game producers, has grown to a huge international event, from a small gathering of 300 people.

This was my first experience with Slush. Arriving there was like stepping into the future. There were cool startups and new inventions everywhere you looked. It felt super inspiring and motivating to see what these intelligent and innovative people had come up with, to help other people and the community.

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When I was a boy Finnish winters used to be cold and snowy. A white Christmas was more of a rule than an exception. Today, things have turned the other way around, at least in the Helsinki region: winters have gradually become rainy and warmer than before. However, globally we are among the very fortunate ones – it can be annoying to walk dark and rainy streets for months but that is nothing compared to the extreme weather conditions caused by climate change in other parts of the world.

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Coast of the Barents Sea. Teriberka, Russia

Russia and certain Scandinavian countries have already implemented a number of projects across their joint border areas aimed at developing tourism infrastructure with joint management of specially-protected natural areas. 

Pasvik Nature Reserve is an example of such protected areas. It is located in the extreme northwest of Russia, in the Pechenga district of the Murmansk region.

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View of the headquarters of Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA in Caracas, on January 29, 2019. - The United States announced sanctions against Venezuela's state oil company Monday in a coordinated effort with the main opposition leader to cripple embattled President Nicolas Maduro's power base. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

The short: The Trump Administration wants the Maduro Administration to leave.  H.E. Nicolas Maduro, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela wants to stay.  The governments of the Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China believe that the repayments of what could be approaching US$100 billion might be best served by President Maduro remaining in office.  The Republic of Cuba wants the Chavez Administration (1999-2013) to return.

If the Trump Administration provided assurances that the commercial interests of each country, which are not the same with respect to what they have received and what they want would be guaranteed, they each might support the removal of President Maduro and his exile to the Republic of Cuba. 

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Dr. Yakunin opening the Rhodes Forum in October 2018 In Rhodes, Greece

The Dialogue of Civilisations Research Institute (DOC), a think tank with its headquarters in Berlin, is one of the rare institutes in Europe that gives a platform to all viewpoints on geopolitical issues, not simply the dominant Western viewpoint. The think tank organises the Rhodes Forum every year, where intellectuals, academics and politicians discuss world issues in plenary sessions and panel discussions, and gained recognition for having predicted the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 and also anticipated the European refugee crisis.

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Chen Li, Ambassador of P.R.China to Finland

The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has just succesfully concluded early this week. During the Summit, leaders of FOCAC members gathered under the theme of “China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation”, reviewed implementation of the outcomes of the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit and agreed on plans for future growth of China-Africa cooperation. 

The Summit issued the Beijing Declaration Toward an Even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future, adopted the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Beijing Action Plan, which send out a strong message that China and Africa will go hand in hand in years to come. 

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