Research projects 14

Decision Support for the Supply of Ecosystem Services under Global Change (DecisionES) is a Marie Curie Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Programme (2021-2025). Pressures on forest ecosystems are very likely to increase as a consequence of socioeconomic and demographic trends. A growing population will demand more products (e.g., wood) to be extracted from forest ecosystems. At the same time, these harvesting activities and their interactions with global change drivers will impact the sustainability of the supply of a wider range of non-provisioning services (e.g., wildfire protection, water, and biodiversity). The integrity of ecosystems must be safeguarded when developing harvesting activities, and yet this is further complicated by the occurrence of natural disturbances such as wildfires and droughts, etc. New decision support approaches are needed that can cope with this challenge. European and the American experiences with the development and application of decision support approaches for the provision of ecosystem services (ESs), offer a solid base for continued improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of forest management in the context of global change (e.g., responding to changes in demographics, socioeconomics, and climatic conditions). This provided the rationale for a project that will help to strengthen research collaboration through active networking and staff exchange between 8 European organizations and 10 American organizations that are leaders in these fields. This project will build from the top-level multidisciplinary expertise (wildfire ecology and management, wildfire behaviour simulation, hydrology, process-based modelling, biodiversity, wildlife management, ecology, water services, operations research, management science, stakeholder engagement, forest ecosystem management planning methods, supply chain management methods and decision support systems) in these organizations to address the integration of operational, tactical and strategic forest ecosystem management planning levels and potentiate the supply of ecosystem services at various spatial and temporal scales.

Team

Jordi García-Gozalo

  • Head of research Eva Kagiri-Kalanzi
  • Language n/a

The study on science, technology and innovation (STI) collaboration between Finland and Africa was compiled with three aims: (i)To explore the different strategies that exist in the Finnish-African STI landscape (ii)To review the current context and landscape of Finnish-Africa STI cooperation (iii) To explore if the drive for private sector engagement has affected Finnish-African STI collaboration. The study was implemented under the “Developing Finnish Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation between Europe, Africa, Asia and the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Region” (FinCEAL) initiative coordinated by the University Partnership for Development (UniPID).

Team

The study aimed at describing the South African education landscape, identifying education needs and priorities in different sectors and in two regions: Gauteng and Western Cape. The study also identified opportunities for collaboration in the public and private sector and matching them to Finnish stakeholder interests. Finally the study also highlighted key operation and funding models that can be utilised by South African and Finnish stakeholders in the education sector.

Team

Albertus Louw, Lightning Tree Stories

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

Indigenous people who are historical creators of knowledge about food, are among the most impoverished, food insecure people of the contemporary world. This is often due to regulations over the usage of natural resources and very rapid changes in social settings, climatic patterns and cultural practices. This has significantly transformed the diets of indigenous people’s worldwide, non-exemption of the Khwe San indigenous people of Namibia. Today, not only are less food available to the Khwe, but also in reduced nutritional quality. The widely available processed foods and Food Aid deliveries have created dependencies and undermined traditional food systems and health.

Team

Prof. Juha Helenius, Dr. Aili Pyhälä

  • Head of research Sirkka Heinonen
  • Language n/a

The foresight part of NEO-CARBON ENERGY explores possible futures of a new renewables-based energy production and storage system, which is being developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and University of Turku – Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC). This joint research project is one of the strategic research openings of Tekes – The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation. The foresight work is conducted in the Finland Futures Research Centre. A possibly distributed energy production system of neo-/low-carbon technologies and emerging issues such as prosumerism can drive economic, political, cultural and social changes. Radically new innovations, services and practices could emerge as a result of the third industrial revolution.

Team

Sirkka Heinonen, Juho Ruotsalainen, Joni Karjalainen, Marjukka Parkkinen

  • Head of research Eshetu Yirdae
  • Language n/a

The overall objective of the proposed project is the strengthening of the National University of Laos, Faculty of Forestry’s educational performance and enabling it to provide good professionals for improved management and the sustainable use of Lao PDR’s forest resources. The project purpose is to support the Faculty of Forestry in terms of international collaboration, organization of joint teaching material production and education events, curriculum development, introduction of new teaching methods, and joint supervision of M.Sc. students research with the aim to provide good forestry professionals and academians for the forest sector of Lao PDR. The proposed project is mainly implemented by (a) organising an intensive training events in Laos for forestry academians and professionals (especially trainers) in the field of forest landscape rehabilitation; (b) promoting the participation of NUoL young staff in intensive training activities organised by VITRI and the Dept. of Forest Sciences in Helsinki; and (c) by strengthening the institutional capacity building in the form of curriculum development, teaching material preparation and new tools for e-learning and networking and new equipments.

Team

Eshetu Yirdaw, Professor Markku Kanninen, Adrian Monge Monge, Dipjoy Chakma

  • Head of research Otso Ovaskainen
  • Language n/a

This research proposal develops a multidisciplinary approach to study tropical forest biodiversity in two Brazilian ecosystems: Amazon and Atlantic forests. The overall objective is to develop new methods of field research and statistical modelling that will allow improved mapping and monitoring of tropical diversity. The main novelty of this project is in the use of new sampling technologies combined with the development of novel theoretical and statistical frameworks for obtaining robust inference at the levels of individuals, populations and communities.

Team

Dr. Otso Ovaskainen, Dr. Milton Cezar Ribeiro, Dr. Mauro Galetti, Dr. Marco Aurélio Pizo, Dr. Jukka Síren, M.Sc Ulisses Camargo

The goal of Biodev/Work Package 3 is to develop the capacity and policy environment to facilitate wider scaling up of high value biocarbon development approaches.

Team

Fobissie Kalame

UTU Geography Section has been working in Tanzania since 2003 with Tanzanian and international partners. Our collaborative research topics are broadly related to the analysis of human-nature dynamics with landscape and geospatial approaches. We link our research efforts with education in Geography and Landscape Science, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, Participatory GIS and Landscape Management. We collaborate with our partners in developing better spatial tools, methods and practices of sustainable landscape management and use and preservation of natural resources.

Team

Niina Käyhkö, Taimi Sitari,Nora Fagerholm, Jussi S. Jauhiainen, Jukka Käyhkö,Harun Makandi,Sanna Mäki,Mikko Joronen, Lauri Hooli, Joni Koskinen, Salla Eilola, Zakaria Khamis, Niko Humalisto