Municipality of Ii is situated in the region of Northern Ostrobothnia (Finland). Historically the place has been a center of agriculture and fishing, and now it is famous for its ambitious climate actions.
Ii is a growing region with around 10,000 residents, located around 25 minutes drive north from the city of Oulu in Northern Ostrobothia, Finland. Ii attracts visitors with summer fairs, art, fishing and boating.
Ii was formed as administrative borough in 1445. Back then, the place was known as a trading centre and a harbour exporting salmon, peat and furs. Many wonder about the municipality’s unusually short name: the origin of the name is said to be based on the Sámi words iddja or ijje meaning night.
Ii Wanha Hamina (Old Hamina) dates back to 14th century and is among the oldest trading posts in Northern Finland. The name “Hamina” has its roots in the Swedish term “hamn”, which means harbour. It used to be a home to yearly markets with as much as 2 000 visitors from all over the northern Finland. Nowadays the Old Hamina is a tight-knit neighbourhood that has managed to keep its own unique historical spirit.
In 2012, Ii Municipality obtained a unique Environmental Art Park which binds together the environmental art in Old Hamina and KulttuuriKauppila Art Centre. The artworks of the 2012 Biennial were prepared specifically the park in mind, and new works have been added since. The park is located on the banks of the picturesque River Ii, along the main highway number 4. crossing the municipality. The Environmental Art Park forms a recreational area for residents and travelers alike.
Ii is known as one of the best Bioeconomy cases in the Nordic region and thrives to become a zero emission and waste-free community in the future. Following the cut of CO² emissions by half between 2007-16, the municipality has set an ambitious goal to reduce 80 percent of carbon emissions by the year 2020, over 30 years faster than the EU climate target. In 2017 the municipality received a RegioStar Award for the innovative climate actions.
llmastoAreena (Climate Arena) is the nation’s leading platform for common dialogue on climate change. In Climate Arena the sparsely populated rural area takes its place as an active actor, not just a target of decisions. Finding solutions to climate change needs everyone’s participation. In addition to year-round dialogue Climate Arena is foremost Finland’s most important free and open for all climate festival. For two days Finland is in Ii. As a leader in emission reduction and a true example of how a small sparsely populated rural town can make actions with a wide impact Ii is a natural platform for the Arena. If Ii can tackle the climate change, everyone can. We need knowledge, common understanding, will and actions – the Climate Arena.