On Friday February 7th, the #OURSEA campaign that seeks to secure the future of the Baltic Sea was officially launched; the campaign will continue until the end of the year. This joint campaign of Moomin Characters, who hold the copyright to the Moomins, and the John Nurminen Foundation, seeks to accrue one million euros for the Foundation's work during the year. With donations received, the John Nurminen Foundation will finance for example the very significant new Baltic Sea protection initiative released today, and the Foundation’s nationwide marine culture projects. The campaign is joined by most of the Moomin license holders, and, amongst others, Supercell, Sanoma, Orion, and the Guides and Scouts of Finland.
Campaign enables major new Baltic Sea projects
With the funds accrued through the #OURSEA campaign, the John Nurminen Foundation will launch new projects, and expand its current operations. With donations received, the Foundation will finance e.g. the Fertilizer Shipping project, a major new initiative in Baltic Sea protection launched on the first day of the Helsinki International Boat Show.
The marine transportation of fertilizers is now known to be a major nutrient discharge risk. Such nutrient discharges are linked to the loading and unloading of fertilizers at harbour, and cleaning the holds of ships that carry fertilizers in the open sea. In a single harbour, the annual nutrient discharges that enter the sea with runoff waters alone can amount to several tonnes of phosphorus and even hundreds of tonnes of nitrogen, equaling the annual discharges from the wastewater treatment of a large city.
The John Nurminen Foundation’s Fertilizer Shipping project will promote the adoption of measures that reduce discharges throughout the Baltic Sea area, working together with stakeholders such as harbours, harbour operators, fertilizer manufacturers, and cities. The Fertilizer Shipping project will cover all of Finland and the Gulf of Finland, the entire Baltic Sea area, and, in particular, those fertilizer transit harbours where Russian stakeholders play an important role. The goal is to achieve an environmental impact of a significant scale.
The Foundation’s work has also had a significant impact on curbing nutrient discharges from agriculture. The Foundation played an important part when a new and efficient water protection method, i.e. the gypsum treatment of fields, was introduced in Finland. The method has been adopted in the gypsum projects of Savijoki in Lieto and the River Vantaa; this year, the Foundation is involved in the expansion of gypsum use in the coastal states of the Baltic Sea.
“Gypsum treatment is a very efficient first aid in curbing eutrophication. Supported by the #OURSEA donations, our work will pick up speed: we are currently delving into the most important root cause of nutrient discharges from agriculture, i.e. the nutrient balance of livestock production”, Annamari Arrakoski-Engardt, Secretary General of the John Nurminen Foundation, explained at the launch of the #OURSEA campaign.
In addition to the Clean Baltic Sea projects, the Foundation will use campaign donations to finance the nationwide Muistojen meri (sea of memories) cultural project. The objective of this project is to mobilize the Finns, making them think of their relationship with the Baltic Sea by collecting their most important and most poignant maritime memories. This fabric of memories and the Finns’ relationship to the Baltic Sea will be curated into a multimedia exhibition.
“The #OURSEA campaign makes great deeds for the Baltic Sea possible. For us, this is a unique opportunity to bring the Baltic Sea to the world map: we will do our utmost to reap the greatest possible benefits from the campaign for the Baltic Sea and its heritage”, says Arrakoski-Engardt.
Exceptional range of participants – joined by more than 100 organizations, from NGOs to large corporations
More than 100 companies and other organizations have joined forces to build the #OURSEA campaign, ranging from various cultural institutions to cities, schools, and associations from the Baltic Sea area and even further.
“We have been joined by a magnificent team of long-term Moomin Characters license holders, partners from decades back, and even brand new stakeholders. This year, the desire to help, shared by the community built around the Moomins during the decades, will be highly visible, benefitting the Baltic Sea”, says Roleff Kråkström, Managing Director of Moomin Characters. “I wish to extend my special thanks to all our license holders, who have, year after year, participated in charity work with us. None of this would be possible without their input.”
Also Sanoma, Supercell and Orion, the long-term partners of the John Nurminen Foundation, will participate in the #OURSEA campaign with sizeable donations.
“We are very happy to join this ambitious campaign, which seeks to achieve concrete improvements in the status of the sea, and bring great visibility to the cause of the Baltic Sea”, says Ilkka Paananen, CEO of Supercell.
In addition to donations and contributions from merchandise sales, campaign participants will disseminate information on the status of the Baltic Sea, and on the ways to protect it.
“The wellbeing of the Baltic Sea and the environment are very important values to Orion. The #OURSEA campaign highlights this important issue, bringing it to the awareness of even more citizens of the Baltic Sea’s coastal states. By combining our forces, we can still save the Baltic Sea”, says Timo Lappalainen, President and CEO of Orion.
Susan Duinhoven, President and CEO of Sanoma, explains: One of the core values of Sanoma is to engage, involve, and activate people on topics that matter to them. With our long-standing co-operation with John Nurminen Foundation, we’re happy to join the #OURSEA campaign. The well-being of the Baltic Sea, including its unique archipelago, is a joint responsibility – together we can make a difference. The Baltic Sea belongs and is important to us all and we’re are happy to contribute to its rescue efforts.”
In addition to companies, private individuals too can make a donation to the campaign. Calculations based on the work of the John Nurminen Foundation up to now indicate that a donation of €10 will result in the removal of 40 kg of blue-green algae from the Baltic Sea.
Moreover, at campaign launch, Moomin Characters will make a further donation of € 150,000 to the campaign.
Campaign challenges and invites all to support the cause of the Baltic Sea
The multi-faceted group of campaign participants includes e.g. the Guides and Scouts of Finland, whose work for the campaign focuses on activating young scouts with a Baltic Sea-themed programme. The scouts will learn more about the status of the Baltic Sea and its protection during different types of excursions and activities at weekly meetings. Participating scouts will receive an #OURSEA badge as a sign that they are now well-versed in Baltic Sea protection.
The pedagogical element of the campaign is also manifested in the cooperation with Otava. Otava Learning supports the #OURSEA campaign with the Pelastetaan Itämeri (let’s save the Baltic Sea) learning materials kit, developed for schools by experts in the field, and made available to teachers free of charge.
Moreover, Moomin book publishers, for example Tammi, WSOY and Förlaget, will publish special sea-themed Moomin books: by purchasing such a book, everyone can support the campaign and its work for the Baltic Sea.
All companies and organizations participating in the campaign are listed on the campaign pages (www.oursea.fi). On the pages, you can also follow how the campaign counter works its way up to the campaign’s goal of one million euros.
#MEIDÄNMERI #VÅRTHAV #OURSEA
Annamari Arrakoski-Engardt, Ph.D.
Secretary General, John Nurminen Foundation
Tel. +358 (0)400 477 878
Managing Director, Moomin Characters
Tel. +358 (0) 40 054 9692
A news release on the Fertilizer Shipping project is available on the John Nurminen Foundation’s web page on 7 February 2020.
Press photos for journalists:
More information on the #OURSEA campaign
The idea of the #OURSEA campaign was formulated in 2018, during the summer of blue-green algae, when algae volumes shocked the people living by the Baltic Sea in an unprecedented manner. “The shock caused by the status of the Baltic Sea gave birth to the idea of encouraging the large community built around Moomin stories to join the effort to protect the Baltic, a sea that belongs to us all”, says Roleff Kråkström, Managing Director of Moomin Characters.
2020 also happened to be an anniversary of Moomin stories, as the first Moomin story, Moomins and the Great Flood – which takes place in the middle of a natural disaster – was published 75 years ago. “We felt it was self-evident that we should direct all attention during the anniversary to cleaning and helping our one and only sea, which has also been the inspiration to the Moomin stories”, adds Kråkström.
The purpose of the #OURSEA campaign is to raise awareness on the status of the Baltic Sea, and to accrue funds for the John Nurminen Foundation’s work to protect the sea and its heritage.
The Moominous campaign programme will delight people of all ages throughout 2020.
The campaign year features e.g. #OURSEA-themed exhibitions, concerts, and many different types of events for children. The campaign’s full programme is updated all through the year at www.meidänmeri.fi.
In February, the singer Emma Klingenberg will present for the very first time her extensive study of Tove Jansson’s song lyrics in the Svenska Teatern concert series “Tove Jansson – Visdiktaren”, which will highlight Tove Jansson’s song lyric masterpieces.
Next midsummer, Inspired by the beloved book Moominsummer Madness, the Töölönlahti bay area in Helsinki will be transformed to the Midsummer Madness festival, aimed at the entire family; inspired by the book, the festival will feature e.g. a stage floating on the Töölönlahti bay, where theatre and music performances will take place.
The National Museum of Finland will also take part in the anniversary celebrations by opening, on 15th May, the “Courage, Freedom, Love!” exhibition, showcasing Moomin philosophy and values, such as friendship, love, respect for nature, and equality. As part of the campaign, the world’s only Moomin museum in Tampere will also organise an exhibition entitled Moomins and the Sea.
The campaign is also international, with participants from e.g. Sweden, Great Britain, and Japan. In London, Walthamstow Wetlands, Europe’s largest wetland nature reserve to be established right next to a city, will organise many types of events for the entire family, all focusing on waterway protection themes. An exhibition on Tove Jansson’s relationship with the sea will also be organised in the area, featuring a new work of music recorded at her summer paradise, the island of Klovharu.
In Sweden, the campaign is highly visible at e.g. the Stockholm boat fair, various book fairs, an exhibition in the Stockholm Maritime Museum, and during the famous Gotland Runt sailing competition.
The #OURSEA campaign is also on full display on 27th August at Baltic Sea Day, the event organised by the John Nurminen Foundation.
John Nurminen Foundation
Founded in 1992, the purpose of the John Nurminen Foundation is to save the Baltic Sea and its heritage for future generations. The Foundation has been awarded for its work as a communicator of information and producer of marine content. The goal of the Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects is to improve the condition of the Baltic Sea with tangible measures that will reduce the load and environmental risks directed towards the sea. The work is steered by measurable results and impact. www.johnnurmisensaatio.fi
Moomin Characters Oy Ltd is the official body responsible for Moomin copyright supervision. Between the years 1945 and 1980, Tove Jansson (1914–2001) wrote and illustrated nine novels, four picture books, and hundreds of comics featuring the Moomins. Books on the brave, adventurous, but always family-oriented Moomins have been translated to over 55 languages, and continue to be in print around the world. Together with his brother Lars Jansson, Tove Jansson founded Moomin Characters Oy Ltd. in the 1950s to supervise Moomin copyrights. The company is family-owned to this day.