Research projects 91

The designation of protected areas and of regions of special conservation interest has gained due relevance across the globe, particularly in the past three decades. Territories covered by protected areas are steadily expanding. Within this framework, numerous international strategies define the importance of Capacity Building and Training as the key challenge of the 21st century. The Training Masters in Ecosystem Services Management in Protected Areas (ECOSERVE) aims at developing an innovative practice-oriented MSc programme according to Bologna criteria in the field of protected areas management, and at meeting sustainable development and labour market needs through networking activities. ECOSERVE will be a qualitatively new MSc programme implemented in higher education institutions of the Russian Federation and Mongolia, strengthening their educational partnership with non-academic partners in the field of protected areas management and responding to demands for professionals of public services, private service providers and tourism businesses. It will contribute to adapt land management strategies to the actual changing natural drivers, such as climate, in alignment with global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The program knowledge base, materials and courses in Russian, Mongolian and English, will be continuously updated and disseminated through a network of resources centres of protected areas in Partner country HEIs, promoting inter-regional cooperation in environmental protection, nature and biodiversity conservation issues, and management.

Team

Cristina Vega

This study focuses on how to teach basics of machine learning (ML) in K-12 settings. Since ML can be considered as a vital part of future computational skills, it is justified to be included as part of the computational thinking teaching agenda in K-12 level. The outcome of the study will help to understand the existing system in teaching ML and its algorithm, identify strategies and pedagogical frameworks for teaching ML in K-12 education. The research outcome will further motivate young learners to learn and practice machine learning algorithm and as well encourage/build teachers’ capacity in teaching ML.

Team

Prof. Markku Tukiainen, Dr. Jarkko Suhonen, Dr. Solomon Oyelere, Dr. Henriikka Vartiainen

  • 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

This project aims at rethinking ways of reading and writing change in African gender history. Looking at oral historical narratives and the transgenerational communication of historical knowledge among the Yaawo-speaking people in northern Mozambique, it brings the study of gender in African deeper pasts in dialogue with a cultural analysis of the contemporary historical moment. My starting argument is that our understanding of the contemporary historical moment in African gender history is strongly framed by the gender and development models of the social sciences which emphasize women’s struggle for gender equality in relation to men. This understanding influences the way in which we approach the past and write our research narratives. Through this history writing, women’s historical experiences become fixed within teleological narratives of ‘liberation’ (/‘oppression’). The past is distanced from the present along a linear path, and what is termed the ‘precolonial past’ is isolated as a separate unit of study. In my research, I seek to challenge this temporal model and explore new ways to read and write gendered histories that more fully capture the multiplicity of the gendered temporalities that constitute African existence. Overall, my study has a two-fold objective: Firstly, on the basis of the Yaawo oral historical narratives, it aims to contribute to our understanding of female political and spiritual power in Africa’s precolonial past and the historical processes of change in the colonial and postcolonial contexts. Secondly, I will study how these deeper histories also echo and are reworked in the present and thus constitute the contemporary historical experience in interaction with, for instance, more recent socialist ideas of women’s emancipation and the current development discourse on gender equality. Overall, my research proposes to open new routes in the theoretical thinking as well as the methodologies of African gender history.

Team

  • Head of research Jyrki Luukkanen
  • Language n/a

The project produces significant novel research-based information of the development of Cuban energy system and its potential future development paths in local and global socio-economic, political, technological and environmental context. The project builds on previous research work of the partner institutions and other research organisations. The research work is linked to Erasmus+ CRECE project, coordinated by the Finland Futures Research Centre.

Team

Jyrki Luukkanen, Burkhard Auffermann, Jari Kaivo-oja, Mika Korkeakoski, Noora Vähäkari, Tadhg O'Mahony

The Myanmar Energy and Environment Education (MEEE) project, coordinated by the Finland Futures Research Centre, directly contributes to the development of sustainable and inclusive socio-economic growth in Myanmar by enhancing capacities of Myanmar partner institutions to provide quality education on environment and sustainable energy for growing societal and energy sector development needs. Myanmar is currently in a critical time in its energy transition. To be able to attract investors in the renewable energy sector and to re-investigate the government’s RE targets, enhancing access to energy and electrification, as well as reducing CO2 emissions and environmental pollution from fossil fuels there is a dire need for nationally grounded energy expertise.

Team

Mika Korkeakoski, Noora Vähäkari, Osku Haapasaari, Jyrki Luukkanen

The CRECE project, coordinated by the Finland Futures Research Centre, supports Cuba in the provision of regionally relevant multidisciplinary education in sustainable energy engineering and renewable energy development. This is done in order to ensure that Cuban higher education institutions (HEIs) are better equipped and able to provide high-quality experts for the ever-growing societal and energy sector development needs. The Cuban energy sector is undergoing a state-led transformation. So far, this “Energy Revolution” has improved energy efficiency but harnessing renewable energy (RE) resources is still lagging far behind. In order to attract investors, meet the government's RE targets, and reduce CO2 emissions and environmental pollution from fossil fuels, Cuba needs national expertise and experts in RE development. CRECE answers this call by training skilled experts and enabling cross-sectoral and regional cooperation possibilities. Cuban partners will be better equipped to conduct international-level energy related research and provide sustainable energy experts to the growing labour market needs.

Team

Noora Vähäkari, Mika Korkeakoski, Osku Haapasaari, Jyrki Luukkanen

In this project, solar concentrating power production systems and technologies are developed. The focus is on new innovations to bring this solar technology closer to commercialisation. A new type of concentrator, the so-called beam-down 2-stage concentrator, has been developed. It can be equipped with an integrated thermal (high-temperature) storage to provide dispatchable power operation. Up to 40% solar conversion efficiency can be reached.

Team

Wang Jun, Song Yang, Wang Jiangping

This research concerns socio-technical issues for providing solar electricity into rural India. Several solar pico-grid systems have been implemented in villages accompanied with comprehensive data collection, field-trips, interviews, and analysis. Research questions have included behavioural aspects with use of solar electricity in the rural context, system reliability, and system optimisations. Key results include observations that reliability need more attention and local training, i.e. strengthening frugality aspects; demand response of the rural population showed less correlation with access to solar electricity.

Team

Sini Numminen, Semee Yoon, Johannes Urpelainen

  • Head of research Anu Kantele
  • Language n/a

Antibiotics have made it possible for people to live longer, healthier lives. Antimicrobial resistance, however, is an increasing problem, especially in low-resource settings. This project will employ a range of methods from microbiology, clinical medicine and sociology to produce new knowledge about how AMR genes spread especially in poor West African regions, in areas where local capacity to address AMR is lagging behind, and identify ways to curb the spread of AMR. This knowledge can be utilized in national and international health policy and medical research.

Team

Isidore Bonkoungou, Victorien Dougnon, Kaisa Haukka, Bourema Kouriba, Salla Sariola, Marko Virta