This year the IHME Festival is donating the funds that it normally uses for Christmas cards to the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC). The donation is targeted at conservation work for the local nature in the Helsinki Region.
The environment is more than just a Festival theme
“Environmental issues are at the heart of next year’s Festival. For us, the ecological crisis is not just a Festival theme. We want to take environmental concerns into account in all our operations. That is why, this year, we are not sending any traditional posted Christmas greetings. Instead we wanted to give a gift both to IHME’s friends and to nature,” the Festival’s Executive Director Paula Toppila explains this more environmentally friendly choice.
Land use threatens local nature
Local nature is also an obvious target for the donation because the only known habitats of the species of beetle seen in the artwork commissioned for next year’s Festival are also urban nature. The halavasepikkä (Hylochares cruentatus) beetle was discovered in 2003 in the area of a small urban waterway, in the former riverbed of the Vantaanjoki River, known in Vantaa as the Mätäoja Stream and in Helsinki as the Mätäjoki River.
The star of the Festival artist Henrik Håkansson’s film THE BEETLE depends on willow species that thrive in wetlands. Its habitats have become scarce due to efforts to prevent rivers flooding. In Vantaa the Mätäoja nature conservation area is protected to save this endangered insect and its living environment.
“In the metropolitan region active work is being done to defend and conserve the local nature by the Association for Nature Conservation’s three local member associations in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. For instance, the Mätäoja Stream and its surroundings come under this effort,” says Corporate Fundraising Manager Pirjo Itkonen of the Association for Nature Conservation. “The Association for Nature Conservation’s local associations are constantly in need of funds to produce up-to-date nature data on valuable forest areas under pressure from land use in order to conserve their natural and amenity value.”
A donation, for example, to aid survey work on local nature is an easy way to share in scoring new conservation victories. Donations to the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation can be made by bank transfer (in message box write: Joululahja luonnolle 2017/Christmas donation to nature 2017):
(Danske Bank) FI94 8000 1600 0988 50, DABAFIHH
With this donation we want to thank everyone who has taken part during 2017, and we wish a good winter holiday season to all friends of IHME and of nature.
You are welcome to come to our events in May-June 2018 – of course, arriving most handily and sustainably by bike or public transport!