Saara Kankaanrinta and Carbon Action have been nominated for the Nordic Council Environment Prize. The prize goes to a company, organization, or individual for exemplary efforts to integrate respect for the environment into their business or work or for some other form of extraordinary initiative on behalf of the environment.
The prize has been awarded since 1995 alongside other Nordic Council prizes, such as the Literature Prize. The theme of the 2020 Environment Prize is biodiversity and its importance as a source of well-being and a prerequisite for life. The jury selects initiatives from the first round of nominations that have significantly contributed to biodiversity.
Carbon Action aims to promote and scientifically verify soil carbon sequestration by agricultural practices. In Carbon Action, biodiversity is both a goal and a means: a field with a diverse ecosystem is more sustainable and sequesters carbon efficiently.
Saara Kankaanrinta is the originator of Carbon Action, which has grown into an internationally unique platform that includes 100 farms, several research projects, and companies in the food supply chain. Carbon farming alongside food production will mitigate climate change and advance food security as extreme weather conditions increase. Healthy soil is full of life and its structure retains nutrients for plant use and reduces the eutrophication in waters.
“Combining the work for mitigating climate change, the Baltic Sea, and actions toward advancing biodiversity and reversing the agricultural paradigm is crucial. Because we have top scientists, enthusiastic farmers, and pioneering companies involved, we can work together to make a big impact. That is why the international networks are very interested in our results “, says Kankaanrinta.
“The nomination is, of course, an honour, and, it applies to the entire consortium. The Finnish Meteorological Institute coordinates the research, which involves many research institutes. And without open-minded farmers, we would be in danger of staying on a theoretical level or producing good but practically useless solutions on paper. This demonstrates the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, Kankaanrinta concludes.
The Environment Prize is the only Nordic Council prize that can be nominated by anyone. This year, a record number of Nordics have seized the opportunity. Next, the National Prize Boards will select their nominees for the final competition based on the proposals. The Nordic Prize Committee will meet, and the winner will be announced on 27 October 2020.