Research projects 23

Forests play a fundamental part in the well-being of humankind, and restoration of forests has now emerged as a global priority. Yet, it is still poorly understood how efficiently forest restoration can bring back the complexity of functioning ecosystems, such as the crucial networks of species interactions. In this project, we study the assembly of food webs during tropical forest restoration in Kibale National Park, Uganda.

Team

Sille Holm Geoffrey M. Malinga

  • Head of research Hannu Korhonen, Martti Esala, Mila Sell
  • Language n/a

FoodAfrica is a research and development Programme enhancing food security in West and East Africa. The objective of the Programme is to provide new knowledge and tools for researchers, decision makers and local farmers to improve local food security. The FoodAfrica Programme is implemented in six countries: Benin, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, and Uganda. The programme focuses on the following topics: Strengthening capacity for diagnosis and management of soil micronutrient deficiencies in Sub Saharan Africa for improved plant, animal and human nutrition (WP1, more than 20 African countries involved). Dairy cattle breeding in West Africa: identifying and promoting appropriate breeds and breed combinations or genotypes for smallholder farmers (WP2, Senegal). Economic analysis of technologies and targeted policies to reduce vulnerability and building resilience (WP3, Senegal). Enhancing food and nutrition security of vulnerable groups in communities through increased use of local agricultural biodiversity (WP4, Benin) Measuring and mitigating the risk of mycotoxins for poor milk and maize producers and consumers (WP5, Kenya). Improving market access and food security in Africa with information and communication technology (WP6, Ghana & Uganda) Innovative extension approaches for improving food security and livelihoods (WP7, Cameroon & Kenya).

Team

Hannu Korhonen, Martti Esala, Mila Sell, Jarkko Niemi, Susanna Rokka, Niina Pitkänen, Anna-Riitta Lund, Mikko Salmi, Keith Shepherd, Miika Tapio, Karen Marshall, Siwa Msangi, Marja Mutanen, Delia Grace, Erastus Kang´ethe, Nick Minot, Eija Laitinen, Steven Franzel, Celine Termote, Vivian Hoffmann, Johanna Lindahl, Vesa Joutsjoki

Building on the successes and outcomes of the previous FinCEAL and FinCEAL Plus projects, the FinCEAL Plus Continuation project aimed to provide strategic support to enhance the cooperation between research and science policy communities in Finland, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The specific objectives of the project were to: 1. Strengthen Finnish participation in the EU STI policy dialogues with the target regions; 2. Support Finnish participation in joint research projects with partners from the target regions; 3. Enable Finnish expertise and know-how to be better known in the target regions; and 4. Gather and disseminate information on Finnish cooperation towards the regions within Finland as well as new cooperation possibilities with the target regions.

Team

Eva Kagiri, Kajsa Ekroos, Jarkko Mutanen, Melissa Plath

FinCEAL Plus started in January 2015 as an expansion and continuation of the FinCEAL Project (2012-2014), both funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The aims of the FinCEAL Plus project were to: 1. Increase and consolidate the Finnish bi-regional cooperation towards Africa, Asia, and the LAC region, with special emphasis on supporting Finnish researchers’ involvement in European bi-regional networks; 2. Support and consolidate the participation of Finnish experts in EU-Africa, EU-CELAC and EU- Asia bi-regional research and science policy dialogues; 3. Increase the knowledge about and visibility of Finnish cooperation towards the target regions within Finland; 4. Expand the awareness of Finnish expertise in the regions; and 5. Expand and consolidate the Finnish research communities’ awareness of cooperation possibilities with the EU, Africa, Asia and LAC region. 6. Throughout all the project activities, strengthening the Finnish universities’ global responsibility and making it more systematic and measurable.

Team

Eva Kagiri, Kajsa Ekroos, Jarkko Mutanen, Melissa Plath

The two-year FinCEAL pilot project aimed to enhance cooperation between research and science policy communities in Finland, Europe, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean by networking the Finnish research community and by supporting their participation in bi-regional research projects and science policy processes. FinCEAL was an initiative funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and implemented by UniPID, the Finnish University Partnership for International Development. FinCEAL activities were focused on the following thematic areas, derived from the European Union's bi-regional science, technology and innovation policy processes: Africa – Food Security, Information Society, Health, Climate Change and Renewable Energy; LAC – ICT for Societal Challenges, Bioeconomy, Biodiversity and Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Health.

Team

Eva Kagiri, Kajsa Ekroos, Melissa Plath

The TAITASMART project, a research and development project of the University of Helsinki aims to develop a climate-smart landscape framework in Taita Taveta County, Kenya, to take into account both the needs of climate adaptation and mitigation, and sustainable agriculture supported by ecosystem services. For this purpose, the project will study land cover changes, land-atmosphere interactions, soil-crop system functioning, and climate smart landscapes for sustainable development, and build capacity in climate-smart practices.

Team

Petri Pellikka, Laura Alakukku, Timo Vesala

The main aim of this interdisciplinary research project is to enhance the understanding on the long-term impacts and effectiveness of Educational Programmes implemented in Natural Protected Areas as a biodiversity conservation strategy - including impacts on Local Environmental Knowledge. To do so, particular Educational Programmes implemented in Protected Areas in Finland and Madagascar have been selected as case studies context, providing a socio-ecological system approach, including human-wildlife conflicts, and also local community participation and LEK integration possibilities.

Team

Dr. Mar Cabeza, Dr. Aili Pyhälä

Improving our understanding of human-environment relations, and particularly of human motivations, rationale and management regimes, is paramount to the success of any biodiversity conservation initiative involving local communities. By comparing approaches, challenges and successes across case study sites, this research aims to identify those contextual settings, socio-cultural traits, incentives, and practical tools that best foster optimum long-term integration of biodiversity conservation and local wellbeing.

Team

Anita Heim; Attila Paksi; Aina Brias; Marketta Vuola; Mohammad Mozumder

  • Head of research Paivi Haapasaari
  • Language n/a

The primary aim of the research is to analyze the effects of environmental change on vulnerable communities, and to suggest means of coping with this by way of co-management, bearing in mind the underlying power relations involved.

Team

Cyanobacteria are interesting ancient diverse organisms with a great future in biotechnology. In this project, we will investigate molecular and cultivable cyanobacterial biodiversity from diverse habitats in Brazil. We will isolate strains to form a biobank and utilize cyanobacterial strains to screen and identify new bioactive compounds, their biosynthetic genes and enzymes.

Team

Tania Shishido-Joutsen, Jouni Jokela