Annual Report for 2021 now online

The John Nurminen Foundation’s Annual Report for 2021 has been published, and it is available online. The Annual Report includes a report on operations for last year, financial statements, and an up-to-date review of the Foundation’s projects and operations.

A clean sea enables thriving culture

The sea has always been an integral part of the Finnish identity, and every one of us has our own unique relationship with the sea. The sea can mean many things: freedom, adventure, a livelihood, natural beauty, history. Although our relationships with the sea may differ, they can only flourish if the sea is also thriving. Rafts of blue-green algae do not entice you to spend time by the water’s edge, and many seabased livelihoods are suffering as a result of the environmental crisis.

We need the Baltic Sea and it needs us. The sea is unwell – it is eutrophic and threatened with nature loss. But it’s not too late for change. Making a change for the better will be rewarded many times over: by saving the Baltic Sea’s natural environment, we will also save the culture that is intertwined with it.

The best way of saving the Baltic Sea is to prevent nutrients – and particularly phosphorus – from entering its waters. This requires concrete changes in the formation, use, recycling and transport of nutrients. For example, manure from livestock and the resulting local nutrient surplus is a key cause of agricultural water emissions. Nutrients must be directed towards places where they are useful rather than harmful. In 2021, we heavily invested in resolving this root cause through our Manure Recycling project. In addition to concrete project work, we also aim to influence political decision-making in order to find a long-term and effective solution to the problem with the aid of support for phosphorus recycling.

We are therefore focusing on phosphorus, and have successfully reduced it via some of our other 2021 projects as well. For example, we have begun the management fishing of cyprinid fish, mowed coastal reeds, and resolved emission risks related to fertilizer transport and biogas. We have also launched a new project to address nutrient emissions from forestry (VALVE).

In addition to ensuring the wellbeing of the Baltic Sea, our projects aim to safeguard the vitality of maritime culture. In 2021, we actively shared information about the Baltic Sea through new books, exhibitions, podcasts and events. Our podcasts and digital exhibitions revived memories and dreams related to the sea. Our books introduced readers to Finnish and international marine research, voyages of discovery in the Northwest Passage, archipelago nature, and the forgotten history of the Gulf of Finland.

Making people aware of the Baltic Sea’s story is important, as it makes it easier to understand why our unique sea must also be protected. We hope that as many people as possible will find their own relationship with the Baltic Sea and be able to enjoy the opportunities it affords.

And we will continue our determined work to save the sea in 2022. This is something that we have been doing for a long time: the Foundation is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary in 2022. One of our goals for this anniversary year is to initiate lively social debate about topical themes concerning the Baltic Sea. We will be promoting this in a number of ways, including a new series of Baltic Sea Talks discussions.

Without cooperation, we would have no concrete results to show and no opportunity to spread our message about saving the Baltic Sea. I would therefore like to thank everyone who has helped to spread the word, the donors who enable our work, and our projects’ numerous stakeholders. Thanks to you, the hope of a cleaner and more culturally rich Baltic Sea is glimmering on its horizon.

Annamari Arrakoski-Engardt, PhD
CEO, John Nurminen Foundation

Annamari Arrakoski-Engardt Kuva Atelier Aino
Photo: Atelier Aino
Cover of John Nurminen Foundation