• Arja Ryynänen

Speech at the conference of sustainable development in Nairobi, Kenia 5th June 2018

Päivitetty: 13. helmi 2019

Arja Ryynänen at the conference of sustainable development in Nairobi, Kenia 5th June 2018.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is an honour to be here in beautiful Nairobi and Kenia. Thank you for Doctor Kendi Muchungi the invitation and hosting us here during these days. It is such a lovely to speek here in YMCA house – my purpose was talk specially about youth and sustainable development.

So, I'm Arja Ryynänen and this my colleague Naomy Hyvönen, we came from Finland are here to speaking about finnish way of acting for sustainable development.

We both are politicians of prime minister party Centre party. We live in Espoo which is the second largest city in Finland. I am member or city council and chairperson of Espoo Centre Party.

We are also active volunteer worker - politics is acting for the better society and well-being in many ways. I am also social worker and developing social services for children, youth and families. Naomy is such a lovely colleague, professional and politician. It is lovely to be here together.

Well-being is not just a well-being of unique person, it is a well-being of our environment, society, earth. Human are always social beings, a part of society and surrounding environment.

We are here to try to find solution for sustainable development locally and globally. In Espoo we courage to act together - let’s make the world better – together!

So, here in the beginning, I would like to show the brand new video clip of our homecity Espoo, which has been chosen for most sustainable city in Europe (2min)


How we see sustainable development and climate change in Finland?

Finland has a Climate Change Policy Plan for 2030Towards Climate-smart Day-to-day Living.Emission reduction estimates included in the plan - every person and household matters.

Finland is committed for the Agenda 2030and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals with other state leader, which show us how we can achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Finland is also adopted the Paris agreement 2015, which is the most important milestones of the work against climate change. The other key agreement is the Kyoto Protocol– the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its supplement.

The Paris Agreement is a comprehensive legally binding instrument. For the first time nearly all the countries of the world have indicated their willingness to take action to tackle climate change.

The Paris Agreement entered into force in November 2016, and it has been ratified also by Finland. Every country will prepare their own national emission targets under the Paris Agreement and report to each other on how well they are doing to implement their targets.

Finland is the country of thousands of forests, which bind carbon dioxide. We have also thousands of lakes. This picture has taken where I have born, East Finland, which is close to Russian border. So, Finland has vast areas of forest, and uses its long-term forest knowledge when supporting sustainable forestry in developing countries.

However, we face the same challenges of climate change in Finland, but different view of point. Up north we have a cold winter and have to warm our homes, which is affect the carbon footprint of Finland. Our goal in Finland is to reduce emission in our day to day living, it includes our cities, business companies and non-governmental organizations. We call it commitment 2050 program.

Climate change brings new southern species to Finland and it has affected for extreme weather events in the summer and winter.

When I was young, it was snowy winter all around Finland. Now, it is in the north, but not in Helsinki area anymore – or usually. Climate change has affected to our everyday life in Finland – it is difficult to forecast the weather.


I came also talk about youth. Why youth? Because. Youth are the future. They change the world. We speak also about participation in Finland. Everyone matters.

Young people are looking for answers the big questions just like everyone else here in this place. The biggest communities in which young people now reside are online communities, they face each other globally on social media: Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and many more.

Actually, working with youth is also for fun. They are open-minded and honest on their thoughts. The role of us as adults is to give young opportunity to fulfil their whole potential – also at tackling the climate change.

Young people out there are creating social change or movements: hold on to our idealism and our beliefs and abilities to change the world. We believe that each of these young people is a vital part of the global story of struggling against the climate change.

I asked young people in Finland what is the most threaten thing in their life? What they want to change mostly in Finland? I thought that they will focus on the human rights, racism or inequality. But their answer was climate change:

If we have no mother earth, what shall we do with human rights or provision of society? We need an earth and health environment where to live,they answered.

I believe also that every single child and young has boundless promise, no matter who they are, where they come from, or how much money their parents have. We have to remember that. We all have the same goal all around the world – ability to take care of ourselves and our environment. We have a one and vulnerable earth.

How can every person be partners in the implementation of Agenda 2030?

Today’s generation of young people is the largest the world has ever known.

Young people are ready to act for a more sustainable and desirable society. Young people can bring fresh new research methodologies for projects.They are tomorrow’s leaders, parents, professionals and workers and today’s assets.

We have to recognize the young people’s potential as agents of change, young should have an active role of the implementation of Agenda 2030. Young people now and in the future will play a big role in how our world adapts to these challenges.

With youth comes energy, innovation, and optimism. These lay the ground for major positive contributions by youth, and for a demographic act for nations and our world. We should courage young people also for political action.

Participation is a commonly used approach and concept within development.

The United Nation has long recognized that young people are a major human resource for development and key agents for social change, economic growth and technological innovation.

World is global and our challenges are global

We have a single mission, to protect and hand on the planet to the next generation. In our interconnected globalised world, we face the same challenges wherever we live. Climate change is a treat to all us.

It is also a possibility for connecting people. I came far away from north to discuss with all of you about climate change and to find solution for sustainable development. Finnish and kenian people share the same goal, how to protect our mother earth. I have met lovely and talent people here, got lots of new taughts back to Finland, which means that co-operation will be continued.

In the end I will show a short clip of Espoo city and practical activities for the sustainable development.


Thank you!

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© 2018 by Arja Ryynänen