World Congress of Environmental History to be held in Oulu in 2024
An international panel of experts has unanimously selected the University of Oulu Faculty of Humanities and its Biodiverse Anthropocenes research programme to host the fourth World Congress of Environmental History (WCEH) in Oulu in August 2024.
Conferences such as this receive many competitive international bids for a venue, and winning the right to host requires multidisciplinary collaboration. Scientists from the University of Oulu prepared the bid together with the Oulu Convention Bureau (OCB).
“The bidding process is always a massive effort, and the result reflects on the whole that worked on it: it shows how we have managed to present an attractive image of Oulu. This time we succeeded, and that makes us very happy,” says City of Oulu Events and Marketing Manager Riina Aikio from the Oulu Convention Bureau.
Boosting travel business across Northern Finland
The bidding process for the congress was launched in February 2021, and the jointly prepared bid with its portfolio of supplemental materials was submitted to the selection board in June. The bid includes, for example, a draft programme for the conference, its associated events, its budget, some attractive features of the city, accommodation opportunities, and information on how to reach Oulu from different sides of the world.
“OCB gave us their full backing from the start. That was a key factor in our decision to bid to host the congress in Oulu. OCB had a good understanding of what kind of partner the university needed for this process. They are consummate experts,” say university researcher in environmental history Esa Ruuskanen and cultural anthropologist, vice chair of the Biodiverse Anthropocenes programme Roger Norum, who along with their colleagues drew up the scientific portion of the bid.
“Thanks to our well-composed bid and our video bid we were able to put across the talent here in Oulu. Oulu’s arctic location was also a good fit for the theme of this conference,” says Riina Aikio.
The conference and its associated events span a week. Attendees have the opportunity to get to know not only Oulu, but destinations in Rokua, Pudasjärvi, Rovaniemi, and Inari, which means the congress brings business travellers and their spending all across Northern Finland.
The World Congress of Environmental History in Oulu is expected to host about 400 scientists from the environmental history and multidisciplinary environmental science fields, hailing from all over the world. The congress takes place every four years. The previous congress was held in Florianópolis, Brazil.