The international “Zero Carbon Conference 2023” conference, held 8-9 February 2023, will gather high school, vocational school and university students and teachers together.

Karelia University of Applied Sciences, the Environmental department of the Nagano Prefectural Government in Japan, the University of Eastern Finland, and ENO Schoolnet Association will organise the second international ZERO CARBON CONFERENCE, a climate and environment conference targeted specifically towards students, on 8-9 February 2023. The two-day programme includes themes on sustainable use of natural resources in, for example, design, food and forestry.

“The goal of the conference is to encourage students from Nagano prefecture to learn about climate change and environmental problems together with students from Finland and other countries of the same generation, think about solutions and do something about climate change.”
Tomoko Fujiwara, Nagano Prefectural Environment Department, conference organiser

The conference is built around presentations of experts and students and the resulting discussions. The student performers have applied to participate in the conference through a public call. In addition to the substance, the conference is a learning process for the students: how to apply for and participate in an international conference. Student speakers are guided in different phases of the conference, e.g. through rehearsals for the presentations. Due to scheduling reasons, not all of the proposed presentations could be included in the conference, but selected presentations will be published on the conference’s YouTube channel.

“In addition to the substance, we have taken a pedagogical perspective to the conference: guiding the student speakers in the different phases of the conference.”

Kaija Saramäki, lecturer at Karelia-amk and chairman of ENO Schoolnet Association

The conference days are structured in the same way: there are four expert presentations, followed by five to six student presentations. At the end, we will summarise the presentations. The discussion will be in an online platform during the conference days. The experts are from the organizing bodies’ own organizations and networks.

“The implementation of the conference is an excellent example and a demonstration of expertise in building cooperation between several North Karelia forestry operators with Japanese partner entities, which is the goal of the underlying development project of forest bioeconomy cooperation between North Karelia and Nagano, Japan. The conference has already received high-level interest in Finland and Japan.”

Petteri Ryhänen, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, project manager


The conference was organised by the Nagano Prefectural Government, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, and ENO Schoolnet Association as part of a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund and North Karelia Regional Council.