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The State Award for Public Information to Mika Vanhanen

posted Oct 5, 2011, 11:40 PM by Mika Vanhanen   [ updated Oct 24, 2011, 3:03 AM ]

Helsinki, Finland

The State Award for Public Information to the founder of the ENO Programme

The founder of the ENO Programme, Mika Vanhanen, received The State Award for Public Information today. It was given to him by the minister of education and science, Mr Jukka Gustafsson in the Government Banquet Hall in Helsinki, Finland.

The Committee for Public Information submits the annual shortlist for the State Award for Public Information. The State Award for Public Information is granted for printed or other information products intended for the public at large and published during the previous calendar year. The products may be books, radio or television, newspapers or periodicals. The Award can be conferred on an individual author, journalist, producer or a team. The Award can also be granted to a person for a distinguished life's work in public information. The Ministry of Education instituted the State Award for Public Information in 1967. From 1968 to 1971 the recipients were proposed by a jury. In 1972 the jury was replaced by the Committee for Public Information. The award amount is decided on annually and this year it was 15 000 Euros.

The Committee for Public Information states: 

"Mika Vanhanen founded and coordinates Environment Online - ENO (, a global web school and network that runs in 150 countries amd covers 7 000 schools. It involves hundreds of thousands of students, and the network is spreading.

In the ENO Programme, environmental awareness is studied and information is created based on the local environment. Activities are global and local, online and offline. Student-centered and inquiry-based teaching is based on themes that are studied both locally and in the web community. The campaign weeks at the end of thematic periods increase awareness of the recent topics in the communities as well as schools. In addition to environmental awareness and sustainable development, global issues and the appreciation of different cultures are an essential part of learning in ENO.

ENO utilises not only new technology but also the arts. The ENO tree planting song 'Hi and ho, we plant trees!' and the play 'The Drops of Life' spread the message also outside the Internet. Students have also written stories for Peace Forest, an online book that was published in September 2011 (

Environment Online, a web school for sustainable development, is a model example of communal learning and producing and sharing information. It has received many international recognitions and awards and is well known around the world. The leading force of ENO is its founder, a Finnish classroom teacher Mika Vahanen. He united networks and teaching and created a community that spreads the best ideas of environmental education globally. In addition,  ENO nurtures the development of language skills and educates towards global citizenship."

ENO Programme Association recently organised a global conference on forests for schools. Over 4 000 students and teachers from 60 countries joined in this event that took place in Joensuu on 13-17 September. This conference was one of the key events for the international year of forests by the United Nations. The patron for the conference was Dr Jane Goodall.

More information about the award:

About Act Now Conference:

Interviews: Mika Vanhanen, tel +358 40 5070725 ,