Research projects 158

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.

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.

MAKUTANO - means "gathering" in Swahili. The MAKUTANO research project aims to develop appropriate and new methodological and theoretical approaches for environmental collaboration and conflict resolution to be used in Tanzania and elsewhere. The action research approach will be used to find out if urban forest owners influence forest governance, and induce local conflicts over resource utilization. The project provides skills on environmental collaboration and conflict resolution to a group of small- and medium-scale forest owners and local community members in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, and traces how these skills are transformed and used in the future actions of these forest owners and the surrounding communities. The project is funded by the Develop Academy Programme (2019-2022), which is a programme jointly prepared by the Academy of Finland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. In many developing countries, there has been a transfer of public and open access land to private use. In the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, the promotion of small-scale private plantation forestry has attracted domestic investors to capture this new resource frontier to meet the increasing demand for timber. This has further increased land value and consequently also land related disputes. The main objective of MAKUTANO research project is to study skills on environmental collaboration and conflict resolution methods among a group of forest owners and local community members in Southern Highlands, and to trace how these skills are transformed and used in the future actions of these forest owners and the surrounding communities. The research idea has emerged from Tanzanian small scale forest owners. The project outcomes may influence Tanzanian-Finnish collaboration by promoting social safeguards to mitigate unexpected impacts of plantation forestry. The research collaboration involves international partners from Tanzania, Kenya, Mexico and Denmark.

This research aims to: - Identify steps in the process that leads from information disclosure to better resource governance that are not well understood theoretically or that have not been validated empirically - Subject these steps to rigorous empirical testing - Develop a theory of change for the transparency process.

Land is a powerful asset, but it also has a social function. Its economic and social aspects are central in advancing gender equality. Legal control of land as well as legal and social recognition of women’s uses of and rights to land, can also have catalytic effects of empowerment, increasing women’s influence and status in their homes and communities. During past decades changes in the Chinese land tenure rights and practices have brought important incentives for rural developments including farmer income and living standards. However, rural women’s land rights are still not adequately implemented. Despite modernization, China is administratively and socially very hierarchical. Foucault's idea of power provides a better starting point for looking at the use of power at the grassroots level than the hierarchical conception of power. Although the Communist Party has significant hierarchical power, at the village level, there are several parties involved in the exercise of power with different motives and perceptions. Regarding to methodology, many researchers have utilized government and other official material to explain certain phenomenon. This research is mainly based on interviews because they can provide an insight that might otherwise be invisible in official documents. This research uses an intersectional approach to qualitative content analysis. It allows the exploration of numerous intersection themes simultaneously. For example, according to this research, age, marital status, location, and gender play an important role in women’s equality situation.

The research examines how Finnish HEIs engage with other higher education institutions, communities, civil society organisations (CSOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), enterprises and governments to influence, integrate and/or address the needs for development in various food value-chains and their eco-systems, and further in food and nutrition security and education policy dialogue, especially in the context of the Global South.

This was an education workshop bringing women from all the SADC countries together to innovate food products from indigenous foods. Some of the food innovations were then piloted further and scaled.

This project aimed at training food sector experts in Kyrgyzstan on best practices in food safety and quality management. It included training of experts in Kyrgyzstan, one-on-one consultations for Kyrgyz food businesses.

  • 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).

  • 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.