Finland’s Ilosaarirock rock festival has announced a unique co-operation on sustainable development to establish a new “Pop Forest” in co-operation with UNESCOs MaB programme – along with plans by Ilosaarirock to help in the conservation of the endangered Great Crested Newt in North Karelia.
The new memorial tree park will be close to the well-known Koli National Park and all of the trees in the forest will have a special significance either from cultural or environmental point of view. Ilosaarirock say that the Pop Forest will symbolise the overall goal of the whole culture sector to contribute to sustainable development, and there are also plans for the park to be used for celebrating and remembering events and environmental deeds of the sector. Pop Forest has been established in co-operation with the North Karelia Biosphere Reserve of the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme and the regional sustainable development programme and visitor & culture centre Koli Cultura and The coordinator of North Karelia Biosphere Reserve, Timo J. Hokkanen said he is excited about the co-operation with an well known rock festival saying “it is a new and important opening in the partnership actions of the UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve network”.
The opening of the park celebrates the 40th anniversary of Ilosaarirock festival and its extensive environmental actions, together with the study done to measure the festival’s carbon footprint. Results of the study were presented in the press conference during the opening ceremony of the memorial tree park. This year Ilosaarirock festival have annonced that they are going to ‘offset’ the Festival’s annual greenhouse gas footprint based on research executed during the 2010 Festival. The offset compensation will be used for concrete environmental protection in the region and the first project which will benefit by 3,000€ is the conservation of the endangered Great Crested Newt which has been badly affected by climate change. Ilosaarirock invited a local bank, Pyhäselän paikallisosuuspankki (POP) to double the compensation sum to be used for protection and the bank agreed and the donation sum has now reached 6,000 €. Katri Kilpiä, the producer responsible for the environmental issues at the Festival said s “It is important for us to donate the compensation sum to North Karelia the first year. We emphasize that the donated money will be directed to nature protection at first hand and the process can be carefully controlled. We now have the opportunity to supervise the work phase and every bill incurred, to be sure that the donated sum will be used fully on the agreed actions”. The work will include deepening the home ponds of the Great Crested Newt under the supervision of Sirkka Hakalisto, who directs the METSO Programme in the The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Karelia.
Ilosaarirock is a leading example of environmentally friendly festivals and Katri Kilpiä said that the Festival has recently invested intensively in recycling, cutting down the emissions and decreasing the overall environmental impact of the festival. The investment has brought real results and the growth of the waste has been halted, recycling has increased annually and most of the electricity used at the festival is now Green Electricity from renewable sources.
Ilosaarirock has also invited partners, subcontractors, artists and audience to participate in the environmental co-operation. The goal is to enlarge the memorial tree park to be a real “Ilosaarirock forest”, where every tree has a specific significance in both cultural and environmental sense.
More on the festival at http://www.ilosaarirock.fi/2011/