Perhaps it was because the freezing temperatures in the negotiation rooms cooled the tempers of certain countries, but the 12th Conference of the Parties of the Biodiversity Convention succeeded to adopt a wide range of decisions in a remarkably smooth way. Even a polemic issue like the need to apply the precautionary principle to synthetic biology as a new risky technology was resolved before the final hours of the conference.


Today is the day when the Ministers will join us, having wasted a significant amount of CO2, money and travel time to join us busy biodiversity bees here in The Big Fridge. Of course they are welcome, but it is a bit unclear what these high-level people are actually going to do in Pyeongchang, except for listening to yet another select group of Friends of the Secretariat who will tell them how to conserve biodiversity.


The unexpected freeze in South Korea that turned the 12th Biodiversity Conference of the Parties into a very chilly experience made it once again clear why climate change impacts us all. And sadly, the impacts of climate change will be and already are a lot more serious than cold conference rooms.

Indigenous and community conserved territories and areas (ICCAs) play a key role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and in the implementation of Aichi target 15 on ecosystem resilience.


On 30 September, Siemenpuu Foundation organized a unique seminar that brought together Finnish civil society actors to discuss how they can best help and contribute to developing cooperation with Myanmar (formerly Burma). In addition to Siemenpuu Foundation, the event was organized by Abilis Foundation, the Finnish Disabled People’s International Development Association (FIDIDA), Finn Church Aid, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM), the Finnish Refugee Council (FRC) and Kepa and the aim of the day was to discuss Myanmar’s development challenges.


Siemenpuu Foundation’s SADED cooperation programme and the Department of Geography and Geology of the University Turku brought the annual Himalayan Day to Finland on 9th September, 2014. The event, which was held at the International Cultural Centre Caisa in Helsinki, aimed to stir up conversation on the essential role of the Himalayas in the political, economic and socio-cultural development of Southern Asia, and on the challenges that the communities of the Himalayas face as climate change proceeds.


Siemenpuu is participating in the fourth international conference on Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Leipzig, Germany. The conference is bringing together some 3.000 people under main themes of Organizing society; Building a social and ecological economy; and Living conviviality. Beyond analysis it wants to bring concrete alternatives to the forefront. Ruby van der Wekken reports. (New entries are added on below)


What do people do when they meet health problems in India? What is the role of non-modern health practitioners? These were some of the issues discussed in the dialogue organised by SADED's Health Swaraj Group in Delhi on 20-21 May.