Sonja Jaari

Project Manager, John Nurmisen Säätiö

Sonja Jaari, a biologist with a doctoral degree in genetics from the University of Helsinki, is currently employed at the John Nurminen Foundation.

This foundation was established with the aim of preserving the rich cultural heritage of the Baltic Sea for future generations. The organization early recognized the paradox in attempting to conserve the marine cultural heritage when the sea itself was under threat. Therefore, the foundation mobilized its resources to also protect the sea and initiated a strategic development of concrete marine conservation projects in collaboration with partners. Today, the foundation's main focus is actively driving various cultural and environmental projects with the goal of preserving the vitality of the Baltic Sea.

Within the foundation, Sonja serves as the project manager for the international EU project Baltic Reed. The project focuses on harvesting reeds along the coasts of Finland, Sweden, and Åland. The purpose is to remove nutrients from coastal waters while providing climate-friendly raw material for various purposes. By actively harvesting reeds and developing sustainable value chains based on this resource, the project, along with its partners, aims to reduce eutrophication of the Baltic Sea.

Sonja's academic background and expertise in project management are extensive. She has previously worked on an international project in the Baltic Sea region, where she was responsible for integrating the underwater environment into coastal planning. Additionally, Sonja has served as a monitor for projects within the EU's LIFE program, which is a financing instrument for environmental and climate actions within the EU. This experience has given her deep insights into conservation issues and EU policy. She has also been involved in EU's innovation programs, EIT Climate and EIT Digital, at the University of Helsinki, where her work has focused on promoting the development of new innovations by bringing together researchers, companies, and other stakeholders in an ecosystem aimed at driving new products and innovations based on academic research results.

For Sonja, the Baltic Sea has always held a special place in her heart. In her free time, she is often found by the sea, participating in activities such as fishing, ice swimming, long-distance ice skating, and kayaking. This close connection to the sea and its beauty inspires her work and drives her to strive for a better future for our seas and coastlines.

In Initaitive 2024 Sonja will share outcomes of Baltic Reed Project with headline: From the sea-shore to the store.

The speech will highlight what is needed, when it comes to developing a non-non-exicting new value chain for regenerative raw materials.


Value chains from the sea-shore to the store

A'Pelago Initiative 2024