Members of the Greenzoneproject took part in the Historical Research Day Conference (Historiantutkimuksen päivät) organized by Turku University and Åbo Academi in October 19-21. The annual scientific conference attracted a huge number of historians from the any parts of Finland. 87 sections dedicated to any problems of the Finnish history worked during three days. Maria Lähteenmäki made a presentation devoted to space, place, politics and public remembrance and Jani Karhu focused on the history of urbanization and development of urban space in Finland.
Maria Lähteenmäki and Aleksandr Osipov took part in the section concentrated on the Finnish-Russian border issues. The Green Belt of Fennoscandia concept includes not only the environment and protected areas problems – it is based on the international cooperation, where the border factor plays considerable role. Associate Professor Helsinki University Aappo Kähönen considered the Finnish-Russian border changes and the formation and development of border guard forces. 10 years ago the Russian part of the border area was reduced formidably which facilitated access to the protected areas near border and promised new tourism flows. On the other hand some checkpoints on the Finnish-Russian border are still closed for visitors: for example Suoperä-Parikkala. This checkpoint is a direct route to the Ladoga skerries from the Finnish side, but amazing infrastructure sponsored by TACIS not yet used now due to bureaucratic hinders. Hence the meaning of the border on the territory of the Green Belt of Fennoscandia still important.
During the Historical Research Day Conference we have visited also another sections and took part in conversations. Unfortunately there were no one section devoted to environmental history, protected areas and ecotourism (only professor Laura Kolbe concerned the tourism issues briefly). We have no decrease the meaning of other topics, but the case where environment history are out of the conversation is unusual. Considering the fact that environmental issues and nature protection are one of the top discourses in society now, we could regret about the lack of these topics on the conference.
Looking forward to the next Historical Research Day our team plans to organize the own section focused on the protected areas history, cultural heritage and emergence of ecotourism and its possibilities. This section should be based on a historical approach, archive documents and oral history tools presenting historical point of view to the issue.