Research projects 21

  • Head of research Gutu Olana Wayessa
  • Language n/a

Large-scale land deals are among the most challenging development issues of today. They have attracted considerable attention for various reasons, including their implications for environmental justice and changes in local livelihoods. This phenomenon, also known as "land grabbing," is a significant driver of environmental change globally and, locally, it prompts a substantial reconfiguration of access to land and land-based social relations. While proponents frame the phenomena as a development opportunity, encompassing improvement in the livelihoods of local people, opponents counter-frame it as an impoverishing scheme. In Ethiopia, which is a primary target for large-scale land acquisitions, land is a major resource for state control and foreign direct investment. As the foundation of their livelihoods and anchor of their identity, it is simultaneously a vital resource for the local people. Many studies have indicated the adverse consequences of large-scale land transfers in terms of both procedural imperatives and outcome indicators. However, there is limited research that compares its processes and outcomes among countries characterized by different political histories, land policies, and state-society relations. In order to address this knowledge gap, this study attempts to answer questions of procedural justice (process) and distributive justice (outcome). Procedural justice is operationalized through the concepts of recognition, representation, and participation, whereas distributive justice relates to the (re)distribution of environmental benefits and burdens among stakeholders. The study applies a political-ecological approach as the overarching theoretical framework, complemented by analytical insights derived from recent advances in environmental justice conceptualizations. Methodologically, it will adopt a mixed-methods approach, involving the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection and analysis. Based on empirical evidence and contextualizing the local livelihood dynamics within broader structural and political-economic conditions, this study contributes to the ongoing debate on livelihood impacts and environmental justice implications of transnational land acquisitions.

Team

  • Head of research Saila Saaristo
  • Language n/a

This study explores inequalities in access to housing. In the light of the premise "Leave no one behind", the case study on occupations and struggle against evictions in social housing estates of Lisbon metropolitan area (LMA) draws the attention to the groups of population that are excluded from access to housing. In particular, gendered and racialised aspects of housing exclusions are examined. In addition, the role of civil society in contesting housing exclusion is analysed.

Team

Saila-Maria Saaristo

  • Head of research Timo Tokola, Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki, Tiina Kontinen
  • Language n/a

The FinCEAL Plus BRIDGES project (2019-2020) supports the development of partnerships and collaborative research activities between the Finnish research community and those in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). In addition, the project facilitates connections with European partners, whenever the cooperation also includes partners from the target regions. The project is an extension of the FinCEAL (2013-2014), FinCEAL Plus (2015-2016) and FinCEAL Plus Continuation initiatives, all financed by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. Previously, the focus of FinCEAL has been on supporting research collaboration in the thematic areas determined by the EU's bi-regional science, technology and innovation (STI) policy dialogues with Africa, Asia and LAC. FinCEAL BRIDGES will continue to contribute towards strengthening bi-regional cooperation, while expanding the thematic focus to the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development (Goal 17). On a national level, BRIDGES also supports the International Strategy for Higher Education and Research 2017-2025. The Ministry has mandated the UniPID network to coordinate the initiative.

Team

Jarkko Mutanen, Melissa Plath, Quivine Ndomo

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

LEAP-Agri is a joint Europe Africa Research and Innovation (R&I) initiative related to Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA). 30 partners, including 24 Ministries and Funding Agencies (Group of Funders) from 18 European and African countries decide to join their forces and funding to build an ERA-Net Cofund project with a financial support of the European Commission. The project has two pillars, (i) funding R&I projects on FNSSA, and (ii) Feeding the long-term EU- AU partnership on FNSSA.

Team

Melissa Plath

The Main goal of the SmartCom consortium is to develop, test and implement a concept of Smart Community for urban Africa together with the Namibian counterparts. The Project supports the development of Smart Community concept that is a societally and environmentally sustainable approach to urban development in Africa. SmartCom goes beyond the concept development and aims to provide tools, policy design and network to foster the emergence of business and innovation ecosystem between Finland and Namibia. The concept and policy design can be scaled-up to other countries later on.

Team

Mika Kautonen, Mika Raunio, Mika Nieminen, Veikko Ikonen, Virpi Oksman

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

The project is yet to begin (April 2017) The project, INDO-NORDEN, is drafted in response to the Science and Technology call of the INNO INDIGO partnership programme (IPP) on Biobased Energy. The proposed project aims to address both subtopics of the call, Biofuels and From waste to energy with research partners from India, Finland and Estonia. The EU and India share common objectives in enhancing energy security, promoting energy efficiency and energy safety, and the pursuit of sustainable development of clean and renewable energy source. The main objective of INDO-NORDEN is to investigate, evaluate and develop efficient processes and land use practices of transforming forest and agricultural biomass, agricultural residues and farm waste into clean fuels (solid, liquid or gas), by thermochemical or biochemical conversions.

Team

Dr. N.J. Shurpali UEF Kuopio Finland, Dr. Binod Parameswaran National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Trivandrum India, Dr. Merlin Raud Estonian University of Life Sciences Tarttu Estonia.