Year for Nature - Lahti

Year for Nature

The upcoming year in Lahti is dedicated to nature. We aim to highlight the significance of nature and invite everyone to contribute to the well-being of the environment.

We all know that nature is essential and an integral part of human life and well-being. However, our relationships with nature can vary widely, depending on cultural background, upbringing, experiences, and values. For some, nature is crucial for health, well-being, or mental balance. Others see nature as a source of creativity and artistic inspiration, while some view it from an economic perspective. There are also those who may be indifferent to nature.

Everyone has the right to their relationship with nature, but regardless of individual perspectives, we all need nature. We depend on the services provided by nature, such as food, clean air, water, and other vital resources.

We are aware that climate change, overexploitation of natural resources, and environmental pollution threaten the balance of nature and, consequently, our livelihoods. Therefore, it is essential to respect and protect nature.

Our goal is nature positivity – turning human impact on nature from negative to positive

During the Year for Nature, we will actively communicate about the city of Lahti’s work related to nature. We will publish an updated nature conservation program, green area program, and master plan.

In November of last year, the City Council decided to establish seven new nature conservation areas. The aim is for the protected areas to constitute five percent of the city. The creation of these new conservation areas takes us closer to achieving this goal.

The green area program addresses not only nature conservation areas but also the city’s overall blue-green environment, including green areas, forests, shores, and water bodies. The program update takes into account the health benefits of nature.

The master plan integrates nature goals into the city’s long-term plans, promoting a balance between urban development and the preservation of biodiversity.

Lahti’s journey as an environmental city began with the conservaton of Lake Vesijärvi in the 1970s. Since then, we have undertaken hundreds of small and large environmental initiatives, becoming one of Europe’s most progressive environmental cities.

We have long ago announced our ambitious goal to be carbon-neutral, the first among Finland’s major cities. In addition to this, we have another significant goal: nature positivity. We can achieve this by turning human impact on nature from negative to positive. It requires determination and action, but we are ready to meet the challenge.

Throughout the year, there will be plenty of information and events. Follow our channels!

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

Anu-Liisa Rönkä
The author works at the City of Lahti as the Head of Environmental Communications.