The Republic of Finland hosted the United States at an event on June 16 focused on sustainable forest management, forest conservation, and the crucial role of forests and other ecosystems in addressing the climate crisis, delivering environmental benefits, and supporting rural economies.
Melanie Nakagawa, Senior Director for Climate and Energy at the National Security Council, delivered remarks on the United States’ efforts to achieve a global commitment to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030, as well as domestic actions to sustainably manage and increase the resilience of America’s forests. The Senior Director highlighted new programs and initiatives launched by the Biden Administration to mobilize new finance for forest conservation, restoration, and management, and welcomed opportunities for collaboration with the Republic of Finland to meet collective deforestation and climate goals.
Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, emphasized Finland’s target of achieving climate-neutrality by 2035 and the central role of forests in achieving those goals. Finland, with more than 70 percent of its land-area covered in forests, relies on modern forest bioeconomy for 20 percent of the country’s exports. Sustainable forest management, enhancing forest biodiversity, and promoting a transition to a bio-based economy remain top priorities. Minister Skinnari highlighted Finland’s existing forest sector cooperation with U.S. states such as Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, and Colorado.
Other event participants included Ambassador Mikko Hautala, Republic of Finland; Ambassador Anniken Ramberg Krutnes, Kingdom of Norway; Ambassador Lone Dencker Wisborg, Kingdom of Denmark; Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter, Kingdom of Sweden; Jaakko Kangasniemi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Finnfund; and, Lauren Cochran, Vice President for Equity and Investment Funds, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.