Co-Founder of the Finish Village Action Network
Right Livelihood Award 1992
The Village Action Association of Finland (in Finnish: Suomen Kylätoiminta ry or SYTY) promotes and develops village action and locally initiated rural development on the national level. The Village Action Association of Finland is an umbrella organisation for regional actors in rural development. Residents’ Associations, village coalitions, LAGs and national central organisations are members of the Village Action Association. At the end of 2006 the Association had 131 member organisations.
The Association employs about 10 staff working on different types of administrative jobs and coordinating projects funded by the EU and national rural development programmes.
My name is Tapio Mattlar and I was born in Helsinki, but after living there for 28 years I decided I had had enough of traffic jams and dirty air and moved with my family to a little village in the central part of Finland called Vuorenkylä. I was the chairman of my village committee for four years. During this work I realized that a magazine would be needed as a link between the villages. I found a publisher for the magazine and I have worked as an editor ever since. The editorial office of the magazine is at our farm where we also have a “tele-cottage” – the computer center of the village.
My specialities are the village action ideology and the biodiversity. I think that nature conservation is only one way to protect the biodiversity. The nature never stops and quite often the full protection is not the best way to create the biodiversity – at least here in Finland where the woods easily dominate the nature. My idea is that instead of nature protection we should talk more about nature care: What kind of actions we should take to steer the changes in the nature to the right direction?