We can achieve nature positivity only through collaboration - Lahti

We can achieve nature positivity only through collaboration

In Lahti, we have started working towards a nature-positive life. Is the term new to you? Let’s take a closer look at what starting this work entails.

First, definitions: Nature positivity means that we produce more benefits than harm to nature. This means that our net impact on nature is positive. Currently, human impact is negative, so turning the tide is necessary.

This year in Lahti, we will set a nature goal and together with stakeholders from the Päijät-Häme region, we will create a roadmap on how to achieve this goal. Collaboration is our keyword because a nature-positive city is built specifically together.

Our project started in the summer, and during the autumn, we familiarized ourselves with what is already being done in Päijät-Häme and Lahti, and where we are heading. Without exception, these meetings were inspiring and often resulted in some concrete joint actions.

We, for example, visited the impressive student theater Olga at Lahti Diakonia College and learned about its nature activities. We heard about the work of the Martta organization in promoting sustainable diets. We learned that Viking Malt is already familiarizing itself to the guidelines for setting nature targets. We planned nature pilots with Lahti region universities. And much more.

In various discussions we have heard that cooperation and joint action are needed in nature work. That is what we promise!

The food industry depends on nature – that’s why action is necessary

In January, we organized two workshops: one for the food system and the other for cultural sector actors. Päijät-Häme has a strong food industry, and the food industry is also one of the most nature-dependent sectors, so the work really matters.

Researchers from the Academy of Finland’s Biodiful project participated in a networking event for the food system. The event also served as a kick-off for Biodiful researchers to start conducting action research related to biodiversity in the food industry companies in the Lahti region. By participating in the research, a food industry company or agricultural entrepreneur can get a good start or boost for their nature work.

Culture and art drive ecological sustainability transformation

We organized the second workshop together with the Päijät-Häme Regional Council. The cultural program of Päijät-Häme provides a good basis for discussions and joint activities on culture & nature themes. The workshop brought together cultural and art sector actors as well as researchers.

In the workshop groups, we exchanged ideas on how the arts and culture sectors can create new, more nature-positive ways of operating and strengthen action cultures that respect nature. The discussions highlighted that art can, for example, visualize changes happening in the environment or create new, more nature-positive narratives.

We will continue discussions and consider common places for action next at the Päijät-Häme Regional Council’s premises in the spring.

A nature-positive life is built together

Now in February, we are bringing together people interested in a nature-positive city. We are organizing an event in Lahti called Building a Nature-Positive Life Together, where we will hear from speakers including representatives from the World Economic Forum, Sitra, Fazer, and Nordea. The event will conclude with an art dialogue.

Participants in the event will also join a guided tour of the Future Garden exhibition at the Visual Arts Museum Malva. What a perfect place for discussions and encounters on the way towards nature positivity!

The text has been translated with the assistance of ChatGPT artificial intelligence.

Hanna Mattila
The author leads the Nature-Positive Life project in Lahti. She holds a Master's degree in Agricultural Sciences. Previously, she has worked, among others, at the Ministry of the Environment, Sitra, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. She has also edited two non-fiction books: "Less Meat" about sustainable food culture and "The Web of Life" about biodiversity.