Research projects 3

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.


Petri Pellikka, Laura Alakukku, Timo Vesala

Fresh water scarcity due to glacier retreat and decreasing precipitation related to global climate change will be one of the most serious environmental and social challenges in the Andean Amazonian region in this century. Rapidly increasing land use changes make water scarcity even more critical in dry season and, on the other hand, increase flooding and landslide risks in rainy season, because deforested areas have lost their natural water retention and storage capacity. A better understanding of natural water fluxes of forest ecosystems is needed to be able to solve the problems in water cycle.


Johanna Toivonen, Sanna Huttunen, Tinja Pitkämäki, Carlos Gonzales Inca, Lassi Suominen

  • Head of research Vary
  • Language n/a

General Objective: Promote ecosystems conservation through watershed management to improve human well-being and conserve high biodiversity Amazonian areas of Peru and Colombia. Geographic location: The project will focus on five basins, the Alto Mayo River Basin in Peru, which includes the development of payment-for-water ecosystem services (PES) schemes in the Moyabamba, Rioja, and Yuracyacu subwatersheds, and the Orito, Mocoa, Guineo and Orteguáza River Basins in the Amazonian Piedmont in Colombia. Project Area: The total area the project will cover in both countries is 1,408,317 has; The Orito, Mocoa, Guineo and Orteguáza River basins, cover 93,448 ha, 68,851 ha, 36,532 ha and 428,768 respectively, for a total area of 627,599 ha. The Alto Mayo River Basin covers approximately 780,718 hectares. Beneficiaries: The project will benefit a total of approximately 460,000 people; 238,000 people in the Orito, Mocoa, Guineo and Orteguáza River basins and 221,642 inhabitants in the Alto Mayo River basin. Duration: July 2012 – July 2017 (5 years)


Ulla Helimo, Erwin Palacios, Eddy Mendoza, Milagros Sandoval, Carmen Noriega, Claudio Schneider, Alonso Castro, Ivo Encomenderos, Jose Rodriguez, Arturo Rivas and varios consultants and experts.