Influencing on bigger arenas
Following the Goldman Environmental Prize, Mustonen has taken an increasingly prominent and public role in addressing environmental issues in Finland, including contributing to the restoration of the Finnish forest reindeer and the landlocked Atlantic salmon populations. Without action, genetically unique species will disappear from Finland’s nature.
“It’s about the choices we make. For example, the landlocked Atlantic salmon can still be saved, but the current measures are not enough. Once hunted to extinction in Finland, the Finnish forest reindeer is doing a little better now.”
Mustonen was on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for six years and already then, he got to meet with key decision-makers. The Goldman Environmental Prize has opened doors to even more influential arenas, where Mustonen has spoken about the importance of climate action.
“To put this metaphorically, we used to be a punk band playing at a local club, but the prize turned us into a rock band throwing gigs on stadiums.”
The Goldman Environmental Prize money is used to restore forests in Inari, Finnish Lapland.
“We are looking for ways to restore forests in Northern Lapland in a way that is both backed by science and acceptable to the Sami people, in an effort to combat biodiversity loss caused by forest management practices that favour clear-cutting.”
Small actions for the environment
What small actions could an individual landowner take for the environment?
“It can be just about stopping and taking a breather, thinking about the climate and nature when planning the management of their land. In Finland, for example, restoration is always worthwhile.”
Landowners can also choose to conserve their land and even commercial forests can be managed more sustainably.
“In the end, it’s a matter of hectares, nothing more. How many hectares do we give to nature and how many do we keep to ourselves.”
For further information, please contact:
Tero Mustonen, email@example.com