Russian journalists study Finland’s experience in energy efficiency, use of alternative sources of energy and environmental protection

In preparation to the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, UNDP, in cooperation with the Russian Regional Ecological Centre NGO, initiated a trip of a group of Russian journalists to Finland. The purpose of the trip, sponsored by the Finnish government, was to acquaint them with the country’s experience in developing climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and measures, including the promotion of sustainable energy and advancement of low-carbon approaches.


Why Finland? Because for the United Nations in Russia, one of the focuses is the impact of climate change on Russia’s Arctic, the territory most affected by this phenomena. And to promote the climate change agenda, in particular in these regions, it already organised a seminar on the topic for journalists from the North West Federal District of Russia last October. A field trip to a Nordic country was considered to be a useful practical step to help them learn from the experience of similar territories.


The group, which travelled to Finland, included representatives of several leading St. Petersburg printed editions and a radio journalists from Karelia, who participated in the seminar, as well as a REN TV crew from Moscow. The Finnish partners combined a very intensive and varied agenda - from excursions to energy-efficient and ecologically clean enterprises and renewable energy sites , to meetings with local stakeholders involved in climate change and environmental issues as well as with local journalists experienced in climate change - related topics.


The trip started with the visit to Nuuksio National Park, which is situated right at the doorstep of Helsinki. Despite its proximity to the busy city life, visitors there can experience true Finnish wilderness. This is one of 35 national parks in Finland visited by almost 2 mln people annually. In many of them ecotourism is well developed , like it is in Nuuksio National Park, where a private businessman rents part of the territory and organises facilities for tourists.


Journalists learned about the so called Metsähallitus - a state enterprise that administers more than 12 million hectares of