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Biathlonist Tero Seppälä had a lighter day in training. He spent the afternoon planting several hundred seedlings. Photo: Jarno Artika.


World Environment Day 5 June 2023: A forest was planted in Kontiolahti to offset carbon emissions

People from Talkoo, staff and partners of biathlon World Cup events participated in the planting work.

On World Environment Day 5 June 2023, the organizer of the Finnish competitions of the Biathlon World Cup, the Kontiolahti Athletes and their partners, organized talkoos where about 3,000 saplings were planted.

"In connection with last summer's World Cup competition, we committed to planting work, with which we primarily compensate for the carbon emissions accumulated from our own organization's travel," says the chairman of the sports club Kimmo Turunen.

Aim for mixed trees

The trees were planted in the area owned by the Kontiolahti municipality in Uuro, 2.5 kilometers from the Kontiolahti biathlon stadium.

The planting area of about two hectares is an open area, the reforestation of which will be significantly accelerated by the planting work.

The area was planted with pines, spruces, iron birches, larch trees, tar alder, forest lindens, and pen and mountain elms.

"We are aiming for mixed trees in the area. In a changing climate, mixed trees reduce the risks of forests experiencing more extensive destruction. A mixture of several tree species restrains the spread of possible pests of one species, for example the spruce rootworm," says Kontiolahti municipality's environmental manager Antti Suontama.

“A concrete example of carbon sequestration”

The seedlings were planted by a group of thirty people from Talkoa. The planting work was attended by, among others, the people from Kontiolahti Sportsmen's Talk, as well as the staff of Kontiolahti municipality and Stora Enso, which donated the seedlings.

The biathlete, Tero Seppälä, who graduated as a forestry engineer in 2021, and the Minister of the Interior, Krista Mikkonen, also grabbed the planting tube.

“This planting work is a concrete example of how municipalities and other communities can manage significant open areas suitable for afforestation. In this way, the forest area can be increased, which binds carbon from the atmosphere", says Minister Mikkonen.