Browsing by Subject "best practices"

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  • Rubio-Iglesias, José Miguel; Edovald, Triin; Grew, Robert; Kark, Timo; Kideys, Ahmet Erkan; Peltola, Taru; Volten, Hester (Frontiers Media S.A., 2020)
    Frontiers in climate 2 (2020), 600998
    Environmental Protection Agencies (EPAs) have been involved in citizen science initiatives for decades, engaging with citizens with the goal of protecting and restoring our environment. Yet the data and knowledge generated and the possibilities for engaging citizens have grown significantly in the last decades thanks to the recent developments in mobile technologies and the access to internet, resulting in a transformation of how environmental protection can be done. This perspective provides some examples on how European EPAs and their partners are currently addressing key environmental challenges and exploring new institutional approaches by bringing in citizen science data and methods. It also points out challenges that need to be addressed to fully realize the potential of citizen science as a complement to the monitoring efforts by these agencies. Finally, it presents the Interest Group on Citizen Science of the Network of the Heads of Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA Network), an informal forum where EPAs across Europe share examples and bring together strategic insights on citizen science approaches into their daily activities.
  • Kuglerová, Lenka; Jyväsjärvi, Jussi; Ruffing, Claire; Muotka, Timo; Jonsson, Anna; Andersson, Elisabet; Richardson, John S. (American Geophysical Union, 2020)
    Water Resources Research 56 9 (2020)
    Forested riparian buffers are recommended to mitigate negative effects of forest harvesting on recipient freshwater ecosystems. Most of the current best practices of riparian buffer retention aim at larger streams. Riparian protection along small streams is thought to be lacking; however, it is not well documented. We surveyed 286 small streams flowing through recent clearcuts in three timber-producing jurisdictions—British Columbia, Canada (BC), Finland, and Sweden. The three jurisdictions differed in riparian buffer implementation. In BC, forested buffers are not required on the smallest streams, and 45% of the sites in BC had no buffer. The average (±SE) width of voluntarily retained buffers was 15.9 m (±2.1) on each side of the stream. An operation-free zone is mandatory around the smallest streams in BC, and 90% of the sites fulfilled these criteria. Finland and Sweden had buffers allocated to most of the surveyed streams, with average buffer width of 15.3 m (±1.4) in Finland and 4 m (±0.4) in Sweden. Most of the streams in the two Nordic countries had additional forestry-associated impairments such as machine tracks, or soil preparation within the riparian zone. Riparian buffer width somewhat increased with stream size and slope of the riparian area, however, not in all investigated regions. We concluded that the majority of the streams surveyed in this study are insufficiently protected. We suggest that a monitoring of forestry practices and revising present forestry guidelines is needed in order to increase the protection of our smallest water courses.
  • Popp, Thomas; De Leeuw, Gerrit; Bingen, Christine; Bruehl, Christoph; Capelle, Virginie; Chedin, Alain; Clarisse, Lieven; Dubovik, Oleg; Grainger, Roy; Griesfeller, Jan; Heckel, Andreas; Kinne, Stefan; Klueser, Lars; Kosmale, Miriam; Kolmonen, Pekka; Lelli, Luca; Litvinov, Pavel; Mei, Linlu; North, Peter; Pinnock, Simon; Povey, Adam; Robert, Charles; Schulz, Michael; Sogacheva, Larisa; Stebel, Kerstin; Zweers, Deborah Stein; Thomas, Gareth; Tilstra, Lieuwe Gijsbert; Vandenbussche, Sophie; Veefkind, Pepijn; Vountas, Marco; Xue, Yong (2016)
    Producing a global and comprehensive description of atmospheric aerosols requires integration of ground-based, airborne, satellite and model datasets. Due to its complexity, aerosol monitoring requires the use of several data records with complementary information content. This paper describes the lessons learned while developing and qualifying algorithms to generate aerosol Climate Data Records (CDR) within the European Space Agency (ESA) Aerosol_cci project. An iterative algorithm development and evaluation cycle involving core users is applied. It begins with the application-specific refinement of user requirements, leading to algorithm development, dataset processing and independent validation followed by user evaluation. This cycle is demonstrated for a CDR of total Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) from two subsequent dual-view radiometers. Specific aspects of its applicability to other aerosol algorithms are illustrated with four complementary aerosol datasets. An important element in the development of aerosol CDRs is the inclusion of several algorithms evaluating the same data to benefit from various solutions to the ill-determined retrieval problem. The iterative approach has produced a 17-year AOD CDR, a 10-year stratospheric extinction profile CDR and a 35-year Absorbing Aerosol Index record. Further evolution cycles have been initiated for complementary datasets to provide insight into aerosol properties (i.e., dust aerosol, aerosol absorption).
  • Mehtonen, Jukka; Äystö, Lauri; Junttila, Ville; Perkola, Noora; Lehtinen, Terhi; Bregendahl, Jeppe; Leisk, Ülle; Kõrgmaa, Vallo; Aarma, Pille; Schütz, Jan; Stapf, Michael; Kublina, Anete; Karkovska, Ieva; Szumska, Marlena; Bogusz, Aleksandra; Kalinowski, Radosław; Spjuth, Sara; Nyhlén, Kristina; Jakobsson, Torsten; Suzdalev, Sergej; Kaskelainen, Elena (Finnish Environment Institute, 2020)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 34/2020
    Appropriate collection and disposal of medicine-related waste has been identified as one of the main ways to decrease the emission of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) into the environment. Improvement to the take-back and treatment of collected pharmaceutical waste may be considered low-hanging fruit when one is considering measures to reduce API emissions. However, comparable information that would enable estimating the potential impact of these efforts has not been available. Directive 2004/27/EC, related to medicinal products for human use, mandates that EU member states implement appropriate collection schemes for unused or expired human-use medicinal products. However, it does not provide any guidelines on practical implementation of these schemes. Several studies have pointed out significant differences among Member States in this regard. In March 2019, the European Commission published the European Union Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment. The actions specified therein cover all stages of the pharmaceutical life cycle, from design and production to disposal and waste management. It emphasizes such elements as sharing good practices, co-operating at international level, and improving understanding of the risks. This report is aimed at filling knowledge gaps and proposing good practices for take-back and disposal of unused human and veterinary medicines and other pharmaceutical waste. The report is targeted to e.g. ministries, environment and medicines agencies, supervisory authorities, municipalities, hospitals, NGOs, pharmacists, doctors, and veterinarians. For the report, current national practices for take-back and disposal of unused medicines and other pharmaceutical waste in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden were evaluated. The pharmaceutical waste originating from households, hospitals and other health care institutions, the pharmaceutical industry, and veterinary use was considered. The proportion of citizens who return unused pharmaceuticals via designated collection points varies greatly between Baltic Sea countries, from about 10% to 70%, with 16–80% disposing of them of as mixed household waste and 3–30% flushing them down the drain. The most commonly cited reason for improper disposal of medicines on households’ part is lack of information about their environmental impacts and how to get rid of them in an environmentally sound manner. Separate collection of unused household pharmaceuticals does not exist in Russia, and the collection mechanism functions poorly in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Information on the take-back schemes for unused human medicines is more readily available than is corresponding information on veterinary medicines. We identified, all told, 21 good practices and recommendations for take-back and disposal of unused pharmaceuticals and other pharmaceutical waste and for promoting the rational use of pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea region. Nevertheless, implementing them at national level requires particular consideration due to differences in national legislation and other characteristics of the EU Baltic Sea countries and Russia. The good practices identified in this report answer the call issued in the EU strategic approach for an efficient risk-reduction strategy.
  • Karhinen, Santtu; Peltomaa, Juha; Riekkinen, Venla; Saikku, Laura (Elsevier, 2021)
    Global Environmental Change 67 (2021), 102225
    Local governments have set highly ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets on a strategic level, in some cases influenced by intermediary networks. Yet, the quantitative impacts of climate strategies or the sharing of best practices on emissions still remain largely unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of an intermediary network on municipal greenhouse gas emissions. This was done through an econometric analysis of the emissions of municipalities that are members of the Finnish Hinku (Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities) network, and through comprehensive qualitative interviews conducted in 40 of those municipalities. Our quantitative results show that Hinku network membership has successfully led to the lowering of greenhouse gas emission levels in participating municipalities. The qualitative interviews suggest that this is due to systematic local level climate work, enhanced by network membership. The network functions as an intermediary in two ways: by providing expertise and enabling peer-support. In addition, it has also succeeded in legitimising local level climate action. Ambitious local level climate action can also affect the ambition of national climate policy, which in turn may reflect on the amount resources allocated to local climate action.
  • Nieminen, Hannu; Hakala, Salli; Åberg, Leif; Huhtala, Hannele; Slätis, Thomas; Tarkiainen, Johanna; Valtionhallinnon viestintä 2007 -hanke -ohjausryhmä (Valtioneuvoston kanslia, 2005)
    Valtioneuvoston kanslian julkaisusarja
  • Fonsell-Lehto, Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    In the spring of 2020, primary school students were transferred to distance education for health safety reasons. Distance education environments were set up from a wide variety of teachers’ and schools’ starting points at the expense of equality. The need for design-based research on IT-mediated teaching expanded from adult education environments to primary school, where the importance of self-determination was emphasized. The purpose of the study was to form recommendations for the primary school distance education provider by looking at the experiences of the guardians. For the description of distance education arrangements during the 2020 state of emergency this is a case study, and a design research for the development of distance education recommendations. The foundations for the thematic analysis was the theoretical distance education description by Simonson and Seepersaud (2019). The secondary data was received from an extensive national distance education and well-being project. 526 Helsinki-based guardians’ multi-perspective open text form responses were demarcated for examination. In the phenomenographic research method, experiences of the guardians were summarised using quantification. Recommendations for teachers, education organisers and guardians were formed through interpretation of the data. The perspective of guardians was well suited for the educational design research. According to the results, the most challenging situation in distance education was caused by weak selfdeter-mination of primary school aged children, which was best supported with the help of the teacher, if not the pupils’ own parent. Inequality was highlighted both in the quantity and quality of teaching provided by the teacher and in the home's ability to support the child. Surprisingly, the results described the normal conditions of modern school as a scene of noise, fears, bullying, stress and strain. About 10 % of guardians described distance education as a better learning environment for their child compared to normal conditions. As a guideline based on the design research, it is recommended that the primary school teacher provides daily support and assessment for the pupil, instructions available to the pupil, contact at home - but flexibly to case-by-case and depending on the teacher's competence, and continually developing one's own work.