Dear participants of the IV International WaSH Conference, I have a great pleasure to welcome You to Ilomantsi, the most eastern municipality of Finland. In Finnish language Ilomantsi municipality is famous for many things beginning with the letter “k”. We are proud and known of gold (kulta), sparkling wine (kuohuviini), black stone (kivi), Carelian culture (karjalainen kulttuuri) and of course of bears (karhu). Ilomantsi municipality´s wide area provides at the same time both business opportunities for wise use of natural resources and cherishing the nature around us. This is characteristics to the Biosphere Reserve Area in which Ilomantsi municipality belongs to. We always welcome our guests with Carelian joy and hospitality. I hope You enjoy Your visit in Ilomantsi and Your conference here. You are warmly welcome. See You in August.

Marjut Ahokas
Mayor, Ilomantsi municipality

General information about Ilomantsi

Ilomantsi is a rural municipality located in North Karelia next to Russia. The area primarily consists of forests, hills, lakes and marshland. The sparsely populated municipality has about 5000 inhabitants and its center is a large village called “Pogosta”. Ilomantsi is famous for Karelian culture, untouched nature, and war historical sights due to long border and history with Russia. It is also the municipality with the densest bear population in Finland.

Other events in Ilomantsi during the WaSH IV conference

The annual Bear Festival  on August 16-18 is a festival for self-made artists who come to Ilomantsi to sculpt bear statues (by hand or by chainsaws).

The Wild Food Festival on August 18 is a pop-up restaurant event displaying and celebrating the wild ingredients from Finland.