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Joensuu aims to become an international hub for the forest industry

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Press release on September 7, 2023
City of Joensuu

Joensuu aspires to secure a position at the forefront of the global forest industry. The city's strategic objective is to gain international recognition through its expertise in forests and the bioeconomy. To support this goal, the Forest Capital Joensuu program was developed and approved by the City Council in its meeting on August 28.

-  Joensuu is already the Forest Capital of Europe. The breadth of our forest expertise here is truly unique. We want to emphasize this even more. Our aim is to turn Joensuu into an internationally respected and recognized hub for the forest industry, where forests serve as a source of world-changing innovations. We aspire that by 2030, the forest cluster will be one of the region's largest employers and a significant source of export revenue," stated Sami Laakkonen, Chief Strategy Officer of the City of Joensuu.

The Forest Capital Joensuu program was prepared in collaboration with forest bioeconomy companies, educational institutions, as well as expert and development organizations in the Joensuu region. More than 40 leading experts in forest bioeconomy from the Joensuu area participated in the preparatory workshops.

The program outlines the city's competitive advantages, target state, and actions for the coming years. Key competitive factors include comprehensive education and research in the forest sector, sustainable forests, diverse business activities, smart forestry practices, and collaborative networks.

- Actions related to forests are connected to various themes, such as the city's carbon neutrality goals and the development of priority areas. Through collaboration and knowledge sharing, innovations can emerge that provide solutions to challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss, both locally and globally," explained Laakkonen.

The practical measures of Europe's Forest Capital in the coming years will focus on three themes: strengthening internal forest industry networks, increasing the recognition of the forest capital, and integrating residents, forests, and the urban landscape into a cohesive whole.

- The city's aim is to support forest-related education, research, business, and international visibility in Joensuu. Practical measures are planned to be implemented, for example, in city-owned forests, with active involvement of the residents. The Forest Capital is deeply integrated into the lives of the residents, impacting areas such as employment, education, and leisure, added Laakkonen.

The Forest Capital is introduced at the Silva Forest Exhibition

The Forest Capital will be introduced at the Silva Forest Exhibition in Joensuu's Laulurinne on September 8–9. Visitors to Joensuu City's exhibition booth can enjoy activities such as disc golf and explore the world's largest Joensuu-themed traffic mat. Additionally, attendees can engage in discussions about Europe's Forest Capital and the new Forest Joensuu network, with experts from Business Joensuu and the Natural Resources Institute of Finland (Luke).

The Silva Forest Exhibition is open to the public on Friday, September 8, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and on Saturday, September 9, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Learn more about Europe's Forest Capital Joensuu here.

Explore the Forest Capital Joensuu program here (PDF, in Finnish).

For further information:

Chief Strategy Officer
Sami Laakkonen
Phone: +358 50 4431661
Email: sami.laakkonen@joensuu.fi

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