- Timber stock continues to grow – overdue forestry operations are decreasing
- Environmental anxiety could become an epidemic – but treatments exist, for both the concern and the environment
- Area of productive forest land under strict protection has grown fivefold since early 1980s in Finland – almost all structural features describing forest biodiversity have improved significantly
- Recycling paper is sustainable economy – but without new wood fibre from forests it would end quickly
- Finns appreciate forest industry – share of environmental critics only 25 percent
If young people were allowed to decide, Finland in 2117 would be an international and democratic country with a real winter and flying cars. This vision of the future was created during a science centre exhibition tour and received by Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipilä.
“Let’s also include free education,” said Prime Minister Juha Sipilä in Helsinki during a visit to the bioeconomy science centre. Of the dozens of words offered by the centre’s “vision machine”, the minister also picked the high level of education and bioenergy to describe the future of Finland.
With the help of the vision machine, visitors to the Bio Era exhibition can choose words that reflect their wishes about the future. During this year, tens of thousands of young people throughout Finland have participated in creating the vision.
To celebrate Finland’s 100 years of Independence, the exhibition mounted in a bio-fuel lorry has visited a total of 100 locations in all parts of the country. The aim of the tour is to tell young people in particular about the potential of bioeconomy for solving major global challenges, such as the climate change.
Words that emerged as central in the word cloud forming the vision include internationality and zero waste, but also hope and tolerance. The achievements of welfare society, such as free school lunches and the maternity package, were considered important, as well as non-pollution and sauna.
“Young people were serious about creating the vision and pondered over big things. The future includes robotics, but above all sustainability and responsibility,” says Kristiina Vuopala, Manager of the Bio Era tour and of Corporate Relations at Metsähallitus.
Present from Finnish forest sector to young people in Finland
The exhibition highlights solutions offered by bioeconomy, whether to problems occurring in people’s everyday lives or to the great challenges facing all of humankind. The aim of the exhibition was to create a place where hands-on experiences can bring the opportunities and innovations offered by bioeconomy one step closer. It reminds us that in Finland, the basis of bioeconomy is sustainable forestry.
The Bio Era tour is a joint effort by the whole Finnish forest sector to celebrate Finland’s 100 year of independence. It is produced by the Science Centre Pilke and the Science Centre Tietomaa. The main sponsors of the tour are the Finnish Forest Foundation and the Metsämiesten Säätiö Foundation.
The target group of the tour are young people 13 to 19 years of age, because their choices will be decisive in building the future of bioeconomy. During the autumn of 2017, the event tour visited schools and vocational institutes. In addition, the lorry toured many summer events and festivals.
The last opportunity to visit the Bio Era exhibition will be on 9–10 December in Narinkkatori, Helsinki.