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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A

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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Anti-government protesters throw paper to fuel a large fire started by other protesters in a staircase at the main entrance that leads into the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in the Hung Hom district of Hong Kong on November 18, 2019.

Known for its rule of law and openness, Hong Kong is crowned as a shining Pearl in the East. But now, this bright pearl has been covered with dust by violence.

  It is normal for different groups of a society to have different demands. It is also reasonable that people express their opinions through peaceful means. But behaviours such as vicious attacks against dissidents, vandalizing public infrastructure and inciting unrest are not tolerated and should bear legal consequences in any society.

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China Tibetan Cultural Exchange Delegation visited Finland and the Nordic countries last month

China Tibetan Cultural Exchange Delegation, headed by Zhang Yun, Director and Researcher of the Institute for Historical Studies at China Tibetology Research Center, visited Finland at the end of last month holding a presentation in Aalto University and meeting with officials and academics. The delegation started its trip to Nordic countries from Denmark, where they had discussions with the Danish government, and travelled to Sweden after Finland. 

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Leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski reacts after the first exit polls during the party's electoral evening in Warsaw, Poland, on October 13, 2019. - Poland's governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party won the general election in Poland, expanding its majority, according to an exit poll by the Ipsos institute. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

The Poles have voted: the populist party PiS is set to rule the country for another four years with a comfortable majority in the Sejm. More than 43 percent of the electorate supported PiS, which has been in power since 2015 – with its generous welfare spending and oversight of a well-performing economy cutting through to voters.

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President Donald Trump and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto hold a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 2, 2019. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

With all due respect, Your press conference with the president of the United States was perplexing, to say the least.

First, you shouldn’t have been there at all. Why give an opportunity to Donald Trump to boost his image by receiving a world leader. But once you were there, you had an excellent opportunity to promote Finland in front of the world. Instead, you became an extra in a Trump reality TV episode and a sidekick in an internal dispute of a president dragging himself and his country through the mire. 

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