in Denmark

To whom it may concern,

I had the pleasure of first meeting Mika Vanhanen at the 2008 edition of the Science Festival in Joensuu, Finland, an event which gathered several thousand students from all over the world. Mr. Vanhanen is the organizer of this, by now, annual global educational event for schools.

In 2008, the European Environment Agency, a European Union body where I am responsible for environmental education, was looking for an international event to launch its educational website for kids.  It should be noted that Joensuu is a small Finnish town located closer to the Russian border than the Finnish capital city, Helsinki, through which all visitors had to pass to get to the SciFest event.  As such, there was a degree of skepticism as to the international dimension of the event during which the website was to be launched.  All doubts dissipated at the event’s opening ceremony, which gathered teachers and students from places as far away as Iran and Taiwan! 

This exemplifies Mr. Vanhanen’s strength and capacity in rallying support and interest in the cause for environmental and science education.  Since then, I have been privileged in witnessing his dedication to the ENO Tree Planting Campaign for which he cleverly employs social media tools to garner following and support.  Not a day goes by without seeing his actions and enthusiasm expressed on the pages of Facebook, among others. He is truly an inspiration in what one man can do to further an important cause. He is an advocate of positive change, individual action, and solidarity among local and global communities alike.

It came as no surprise to learn that Mr. Vanhanen was nominated for UNEP’s Champion of the Earth award and it is an honor to be able to support his well-deserved nomination. For further information, I remain at your disposal at the below coordinates.


Karolina Slowinska
Project manager

Education, web and multimedia
European Environment Agency
Kongens Nytorv, 6

1050 Copenhagen K, Denmark