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International Partner  SUOMEN LATU

Suomen Latu - The Finnish Central Association for Recreational Sports and Outdoor Activities – is a promoter of outdoor activities, an expert in hiking and an organization open to all. Suomen Latu has more than 75,000 members - children, teenagers, families, adults and seniors – who are active in the more than 200 member associations.

The main objective of Suomen Latu has always been to increase Finnish people’s interest in exercise as well as developing possibilities for outdoor conditioning and recreational exercise. Nowadays, guarding everyman’s right to freedom and the outdoors has become more and more important.

Other subject matters that are addressed include - promoting outdoor and health beneficial exercise, making outdoor activities and exercise more accessible in municipalities, the quantity and quality of hiking routes and walkways, providing opportunities for children and teenagers for healthy recreational activities, involving families in community based exercise and increasing well being in society.

In their vision, Suomen Latu and its member associations are known as established experts in outdoor activities and hiking, and as an open-to-all citizens’ organization advocating the cause of all outdoor enthusiasts. In 2015 the Finnish people will use more time on outdoor activities which is more versatile than today. In the future, according to Eki Karlsson, the Director of Suomen Latu, the organization will concentrate even more on children, teenagers and families – not forgetting the seniors. Also engaging young adults in the organizations operations and activities is vital. “We will continue promoting regular, year-round exercise and outdoor activities for people of all ages”, Eki Karlsson says.

Although Suomen Latu mainly works in Finland, since 1997 steps towards becoming an INGO has been taken. During 1997-2001 Suomen Latu carried out a development cooperation project in Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania. During the project the Tanzania and Kilimanjaro National Parks and Suomen Latu constructed a trekking trail with facilities to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. The trekking route still remains very popular among the tourists from all over the world.

Since 2006 Suomen Latu has worked with the Nepalese NGO, NETIF, to start an outdoor activities related development cooperation program in the Kathmandu Valley. The project proposal was submitted to the Finnish inistry for the Foreign Affairs in May 2007. The Ministry funded Suomen Latu for the year 2008, which helped in funding the study for the program

Nepal Environment and Tourism Initiative Foundation is a non-governmental organization founded in 2006 by a group of dedicated environmentalists and tourism entrepreneurs, registered in 2008 with bases in Kathmandu and Dhulikhel, Nepal. The NGO works for an economically winning combination of tourism and pristine environment, complementing each other towards better and sustainable tourism enterprises, particularly the well being of local communities through opportunities that tourism offers and the natural environment attracts. NETIF facilitates the transition of rural tourism sectors towards dynamic environmental considerations.

70 years old NGO

The meeting to found Suomen Latu was held in Helsinki at the Old Student House, 28th January 1938. The first President of the organization was Mr. Toivo Aro and the vice president Mr. Lauri “Tahko Pihkala”- a famous Finnish sportsman.

As Mr Pihkala proposed, the new and independent organization was named Suomen Latu, in which ‘Latu’ (Latu is track in English) stands for promotion of cross country skiing activities and paving the way for all national sports without the aspect of competition. In the organizations rules competing in sports was only allowed if the goal was to promote the organization and its activities



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