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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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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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Security removes activist journalist Sam Husseini waving a paper with text 'Nuclear weapon ban treaty' before the joint press conference of the President of the United States of America Donald Trump and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018.

 

What a grotesque misuse of press freedom! The whole world looked on in horror at the Finnish guards stupidly removing the Nation's prestigious journalist Sam Hussein. I was previously a devoted  fan of Finland because of three great heroes: composer Jean Sibelius, conductor Esa Pekka Salonen and former Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, but a few minutes of that horrible video has swept away so many kind thoughts about your nation. No enlightenment at all, not at all. I do not even want to go to Ainola anymore.

Stephen Fox

San Fransisco

The frequent occurrence of extreme climate conditions is threatening the life of urban dwellers. Currently, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050 this will increase to 70 percent. With rapid growth of urbanization comes rapid changes in the landscape that affect the climate and air quality in urban areas, leading to higher temperatures – or “heat islands” – higher emissions, and more ambient pollutions. During the summer, the higher urban temperatures may lead to more frequent health problems, and actually increase the mortality rate among the most vulnerable urban dwellers including elders and less economically fortunate, for example.

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President Donald Trump’s exaggerated “America First” doctrine elevates a zero-sum approach to pursuing U.S. interests that undermines both U.S. and global security. The era of Pax Americana, which brought seven decades of relative global peace and prosperity, has entered a new and more dangerous stage of decline thanks to Trump’s embrace of narrow-minded nationalism. The result will be a much more favorable environment for autocrats at the expense of liberal democracy and human rights.

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Striving to keep climate change within tolerable limits to our planet and people is one reason I became a politician. In my former profession as an organic farmer, I very strongly realized that our future depends on how efficiently and quickly we manage to contain this phenomenon that affects the entire globe.

The Paris Climate Agreement provides a framework for global climate action.

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Finland in the world press

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