Browsing by Subject "bioeconomy"

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  • Korhonen, Jaana; Giurca, Alexandru; Brockhaus, Maria; Toppinen, Anne (2018)
    To foster innovativeness for supporting (forest-based) bioeconomy development, participation in decision-making and interaction between diverse actors become a necessary precondition for designing and implementing transition policies. However, who forms the emerging policy networks, and which policy beliefs are promoted? Based on data from a national online survey, we performed a quantitative social network analysis to investigate emerging social structures and policy beliefs in the context of the Finnish forest-based bioeconomy. Our explorative analysis shows that research, governmental, and industrial organizations mainly constitute the Finnish forest-based bioeconomy network. Actors primarily exchange information, and most key organizations report high levels of trust among each other. However, the network structure is rather closed. This raises concerns about equal benefit sharing and the inclusiveness of concerned actors. We discuss the implication of this network structure for enabling new innovations. Finally, we present the key aspects and drivers of business as usual, and suggest an option for or a more transformative change in the Finnish forest-based bioeconomy.
  • Myllyviita, Tanja; Sironen, Susanna; Saikku, Laura; Holma, Anne; Leskinen, Pekka; Palme, Ulrika (2019)
    Journal of Cleaner Production 236: 117641
    Impacts of bioeconomy on climate have been much discussed, but less attention has been given to biodiversity deterioration. One approach to assess biodiversity impacts is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Finland is a forested country with intensive forest industries, but only coarse biodiversity LCA methods are available. The aim of this study was to further develop and apply approaches to assess the biodiversity impacts of wood use in Finland. With the species richness approach (all taxons included), biodiversity impacts were higher in Southern than in Northern Finland but impacts in Southern and Northern Finland were lower when mammals, birds and molluscs were included. With the ecosystem indicators approach, if the reference situation were forest in its natural state, biodiversity impacts were higher than in the case where the initial state of forest before final felling was used to derive biodiversity loss. In both cases, the biodiversity impacts were higher in Northern Finland. These results were not coherent as the model applying species richness data assesses biodiversity loss based on all species, whereas the ecosystem indicators approach considers vulnerable species. One limitation of the species richness approach was that there were no reliable datasets available. In the ecosystem indicators approach, it was noticed that the biodiversity of managed Finnish forests is substantially lower than in natural forests. Biodiversity LCA approaches are highly sensitive to reference states, applied model and data. It is essential to develop approaches capable of comparing biodiversity impacts of forest management practices, or when looking at multiple environmental impacts simultaneously with the LCA framework.
  • Rajakallio, Maria; Jyväsjärvi, Jussi; Muotka, Timo; Aroviita, Jukka (Blackwell, 2021)
    Journal of Applied Ecology 58: 7, 1523-1532
    1. Growing bioeconomy is increasing the pressure to clear-cut drained peatland forests. Yet, the cumulative effects of peatland drainage and clear-cutting on the biodiversity of recipient freshwater ecosystems are largely unknown. 2. We studied the isolated and combined effects of peatland drainage and clear-cutting on stream macroinvertebrate communities. We further explored whether the impact of these forestry-driven catchment alterations to benthic invertebrates is related to stream size. We quantified the impact on invertebrate biodiversity by comparing communities in forestry-impacted streams to expected communities modelled with a multi-taxon niche model. 3. The impact of clear-cutting of drained peatland forests exceeded the sum of the independent effects of drainage and clear-cutting, indicating a synergistic interaction between the two disturbances in small streams. Peatland drainage reduced benthic biodiversity in both small and large streams, whereas clear-cutting did the same only in small streams. Small headwater streams were more sensitive to forestry impacts than the larger downstream sites. 4. We found 11 taxa (out of 25 modelled) to respond to forestry disturbances. These taxa were mainly different from those previously reported as sensitive to forestry-driven alterations, indicating the context dependence of taxonomic responses to forestry. In contrast, most of the functional traits previously identified as responsive to agricultural sedimentation also responded to forestry pressures. In particular, taxa that live temporarily in hyporheic habitats, move by crawling, disperse actively in water, live longer than 1 year, use eggs as resistance form and obtain their food by scraping became less abundant than expected, particularly in streams impacted by both drainage and clear-cutting. 5. Synthesis and applications. Drained peatland forests in boreal areas are reaching maturity and will soon be harvested. Clear-cutting of these forests incurs multiple environmental hazards but previous studies have focused on terrestrial ecosystems. Our results show that the combined impacts of peatland drainage and clear-cutting may extend across ecosystem boundaries and cause significant biodiversity loss in recipient freshwater ecosystems. This information supports a paradigm shift in boreal forest management, whereby continuous-cover forestry based on partial harvest may provide the most sustainable approach to peatland forestry.
  • Tala, Mika Samuel (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Unprecedented environmental challenges require new entrepreneurs who develop disruptive ideas, products and services. These entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly dependent on their surrounding context and the other actors situated within this context. Against this background, this research focused on the emergence of bioeconomy entrepreneurial ecosystems in two Finnish regions: Lahti and Tampere, and investigated regional differences in entrepreneurial ecosystem emergence, evolution and legitimacy. This research was based on an iterative process of theory elaboration. Spigel’s relational perspective to entrepreneurial ecosystem attributes was used as the main guiding perspective. An integrative literature review conceptualized and synthesized literature around the topic. A comparative case study design was applied, and case regions were selected based on theoretical relevance. The primary data consisted of 21 interviews which were analyzed using thematic analyses. The results showed contrasting development paths for ecosystem emergence: the Lahti ecosystem was emerging from established and maintained arrangements, whereas the Tampere ecosystem was emerging from change processes; the change seemed to be easiest for those areas within cities that do not suffer from path-dependent arrangements. The findings challenge standard evolutionary models and bottom-up models of entrepreneurial ecosystems. When successful, changing ecosystems could potentially reduce the timespan for ecosystem development. Moreover, different ecosystems had different implications for legitimacy. In conclusion, the public sector and research institutions should play a more prominent role in the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems in the bioeconomy and work towards a more inclusive collaborative process. Nonetheless, the dichotomy between change and path dependence in entrepreneurial ecosystems was based on preliminary categorizations that can be elaborated in further study and broader empirical data.
  • Neumann, Mathias; Moreno, Adam; Thurnher, Christopher; Mues, Volker; Härkönen, Sanna; Mura, Matteo; Bouriaud, Olivier; Lang, Mait; Cardellini, Giuseppe; Thivolle-Cazat, Alain; Bronisz, Karol; Merganic, Jan; Alberdi, Iciar; Astrup, Rasmus; Mohren, Frits; Zhao, Maosheng; Hasenauer, Hubert (2016)
    Net primary production (NPP) is an important ecological metric for studying forest ecosystems and their carbon sequestration, for assessing the potential supply of food or timber and quantifying the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. The global MODIS NPP dataset using the MOD17 algorithm provides valuable information for monitoring NPP at 1-km resolution. Since coarse-resolution global climate data are used, the global dataset may contain uncertainties for Europe. We used a 1-km daily gridded European climate data set with the MOD17 algorithm to create the regional NPP dataset MODIS EURO. For evaluation of this new dataset, we compare MODIS EURO with terrestrial driven NPP from analyzing and harmonizing forest inventory data (NFI) from 196,434 plots in 12 European countries as well as the global MODIS NPP dataset for the years 2000 to 2012. Comparing these three NPP datasets, we found that the global MODIS NPP dataset differs from NFI NPP by 26%, while MODIS EURO only differs by 7%. MODIS EURO also agrees with NFI NPP across scales (from continental, regional to country) and gradients (elevation, location, tree age, dominant species, etc.). The agreement is particularly good for elevation, dominant species or tree height. This suggests that using improved climate data allows the MOD17 algorithm to provide realistic NPP estimates for Europe. Local discrepancies between MODIS EURO and NFI NPP can be related to differences in stand density due to forest management and the national carbon estimation methods. With this study, we provide a consistent, temporally continuous and spatially explicit productivity dataset for the years 2000 to 2012 on a 1-km resolution, which can be used to assess climate change impacts on ecosystems or the potential biomass supply of the European forests for an increasing bio-based economy. MODIS EURO data are made freely available at
  • Hurmekoski, Elias; Jonsson, Ragnar; Korhonen, Jaana; Jänis, Janne; Mäkinen, Marko; Leskinen, Pekka; Hetemäki, Lauri (2018)
    This study identifies new wood-based products with considerable potential and attractive markets, including textiles, liquid biofuels, platform chemicals, plastics, and packaging. We apply a mixed-methods review to examine how the position of the forest industry in a given value chain determines the respective production value. An assessment is provided as to the degree to which these emerging wood-based products could compensate for the foreseen decline of graphic paper markets in four major forest industry countries: USA, Canada, Sweden, and Finland. A 1%-2% market share in selected global markets implies a potential increase in revenues of 18-75 billion euros per annum in the four selected countries by 2030. This corresponds to 10%-43% of the production value of forest industries in 2016 and compares with a projected decline of graphic paper industry revenue of 5.5 billion euros by 2030. The respective impacts on wood use are manifold, as many of the new products utilize by-products as feedstock. The increase in primary wood use, which is almost entirely attributed to construction and to some extent textiles markets, would be in the range of 15-133 million m(3), corresponding to 2%-21% of the current industrial roundwood use in the selected countries.
  • Seppälä, Jyri; Heinonen, Tero; Pukkala, Timo; Kilpeläinen, Antti; Mattila, Tuomas; Myllyviita, Tanja; Asikainen, Antti; Peltola, Heli (Elsevier, 2019)
    Journal of Environmental Management 247 (2019), 580-587
    A displacement factor (DF) may be used to describe the efficiency of using wood-based products or fuels instead of fossil-based ones to reduce net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the DFs of individual products and their production volumes could not be used alone to evaluate the climate impacts of forest utilization. For this reason, in this study we have developed a methodology to assess a required displacement factor (RDF) for all wood products and bioenergy manufactured and harvested in a certain country in order to achieve zero CO2 equivalent emissions from increased forest utilization over time in comparison with a selected baseline harvesting scenario. Input data for calculations were produced with the simulation model, Monsu, capable of predicting the carbon stocks of forests and wood-based products. We tested the calculations in Finnish conditions in a 100-year time horizon and estimated the current average DF of manufactured wood-based products and fuels in Finland for the interpretation of RDF results. The results showed that if domestic wood harvesting will be increased by 17–33% compared to the basic scenario, the RDF will be 2.0 to 2.4 tC tC−1 for increased wood use in 2017–2116. However, the estimated average DF of manufactured wood-based products and fuels currently in Finland was less than 1.1 tC tC−1. The results indicate strongly that the increased harvesting intensity from the current situation would represent a challenge for the Finnish forest-based bioeconomy from the viewpoint of climate change mitigation. For this reason, there is an immediate need to improve reliability and applicability of the RDF approach by repeating corresponding calculations in different circumstances and by improving estimations of DFs on country levels.
  • Iskanius, Linnea (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    As we live in a world of limited resources facing multiple global challenges, like climate change, we will need to find new ways to sustainable produce and consume in respect for people today and the next generations to come. While keeping in mind the ecological limitations, the global economy needs to grow in order to ensure the prosperity of the people. The aim of this thesis is to examine, how the European Union Bioeconomy Strategies have influenced the progress of bioeconomy inside the Union as a whole and inside different Member States. The European Union published its first Bioeconomy Strategy back in 2012 and updated it in 2018 in the light of new regulations and discoveries. The aim for these two Strategies was to introduce bioeconomy better to the European Union Member States, and to encourage investments and new research to benefit all bioeconomy sectors while creating sustainable businesses and form a more innovative, resource efficient and competitive society. One of the main accomplishment of the 2012 Strategy was its influence on Member States, of which many started drafting their own Bioeconomy Strategies in correlation to their own strengths and available resources. This thesis will firstly look into the changes within the two European Union Strategies, secondly explore the Spain, Finland and Latvia’s Bioeconomy Strategies in relation to the EU Strategies, and additionally summarize the finding and compare the three Member States in question. Finally some speculations and suggestions are formed from the basis of these comparisons.
  • Harvio, Viktor (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The concept of bioeconomy has been harnessed to support societies and their economies to produce value added products from renewable biological resources and to develop circular economy. Such systems require actions from a variety of actors from public and private sectors to consumers. As a heavily forested country Finland’s bioeconomy leans largely on the utilization of forests. Planned pulp and paper industry investments call for end-uses for logs to balance out the wood supply. Both forests and the construction sector are also focal areas in climate change mitigation. Wooden multistorey construction (WMC) and its capability to store carbon has been suggested as a partial solution to the aforementioned issues. The aim of this study is to investigate the relation of WMC and the bioeconomy and the role of end-users in WMC. This explorative study uses qualitative research methods to address its research ques-tions. The data consists of seven focus group interviews conducted in the metropolitan area of Helsinki between September 2017 and February 2019. The interviewed groups, with altogether 26 participants, included an academic expert group, three market actor groups (firm representatives, architects and property managers) and three wooden multistorey resident groups. The residents’ type of housing included rental, owner-occupancy and right-of-occupancy and the buildings were built between 2015 and 2017. Thematization was used for data analysis. Results of the study show that despite Finland’s close-knit relation to its forests and traditions in utiliz-ing wood, WMC is not currently perceived culturally embedded as part of the society nor the construc-tion industry. WMC is still a niche in the country and it also seems more connected to mechanical wood industry than the construction industry. WMC was associated with the bioeconomy by non-resident groups, although experts recognized also potential pitfalls in the current discourse. Percep-tions that were aligned with the general discourse of the bioeconomy are mainly related to material renewability, possibilities to recycle wooden construction material, wood products capabilities to store carbon, and Finland’s relatively abundant forest resources. Despite WMC’s publicly declared role in the bioeconomy programmes, some underlying features make its rationale challenging for consumers, which could turn out to be a hindrance for WMC growth in the future. Generally, experts, firm represent-atives and architects were pro-wood and considered that WMC is still being unjustly stigmatized by various actors. In accordance with previous studies, the interviewed WMC residents were satisfied with their apart-ments and the building as such. A wooden frame does not seem to surpass traditional housing prefer-ences of consumers, but it is perceived as a benefit when choosing housing. Results of this study are much in line with previous findings, which indicate that environmental aspects matter, but not as much as health or other more personal aspects of living. Wood can be sensed in the building and apart-ments, which is perceived positively. However, the prevailing fire safety legislation, which was consid-ered as too strict, constrains the use of wood on visible surfaces in interiors. WMC seems to have an environmentally friendly image among residents, which however calls for better communication.
  • Häyrinen, Liina Elli Elina; Mattila, Osmo Pekka Antero; Berghäll, Sami Alvar; Närhi, Markus Kristian; Toppinen, Anne Maarit Kristiina (2017)
    The transformation of the forest sector toward a bioeconomy calls for finding new sources of competitive advantage for the whole sector to retain its future viability. Non-industrial private forest owners are an important group of actors in the Finnish forest-based sector, as they supply 80% of industrial roundwood and control numerous other tangible and intangible forest-based ecosystem services. Our study analyzes forest owner views on the future use of forests in Finland, their perceptions on the evolving sectorial interlinkages and the position of the forest sector now and in the future bioeconomy. The data were collected in two phases: through telephone interviews of forest owners (n=278) and four focus group (FG) discussions (n=17), and were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The interviews showed that forest owners consider the highest potential for strengthening the sector toward bioeconomy to come from collaboration with energy and construction businesses. During the FG phase, we identified new possibilities founded on forest-based recreational services, cooperation with nature-based tourism and in increasing value-added wood products. In total, forest owners as a high-involvement group emphasized future value creation to be based upon forest ecosystem services and in diversifying the utilization of forests beyond the dominant raw material-driven mindset.
  • Hildén, Mikael; Soimakallio, Sampo; Seppälä, Jyri; Liski, Jari (Suomen ympäristökeskus, 2016)
    SYKE Policy Brief
  • Veijonaho, Simo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Growing exploitation of natural capital has raised a concern towards Earth’s capability to provide equal benefits for all in the future. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals addressed this issue and set the framework for private and public operators to implement and develop more sustainable solutions. Circular economy and bioeconomy have been presented as models to foster the economy along with sustainability transitions. However, the models have been criticized for taking overall sustainability for granted. As a result, the merged concept, circular bioeconomy, has been introduced to address such sustainability gap. The circular bioeconomy concept implies a more efficient resource management of bio-based renewable resources by combining the concept of circular economy and bioeconomy in strategic management level. These new concept demands both new technological innovations and new business model innovation. This study explores similar and dissimilar patterns in the way Finnish SME propose, create and deliver value through circular bioeconomy business models. The study examines the relation of new concept to sustainability as well. The study was based on qualitative research, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight company managers or owners. The data were categorized into business model components and sustainable business model archetypes. The results revealed that sustainability-oriented business model archetypes vary across the examined companies. Dominant ideas are substituting fossil-based materials and energy with bio-based one, and practices enabled by new technology such as production eco-efficiency. More radical principles were missing, for instance prolonging the material cycle before incineration or solutions to reduce consumer consumption. While environmental value was well covered in the business models of companies, contribution to social value was taken for granted as a narrow outcome of economic and environmental values. As this study concerned the micro level perspective, for further studies would be beneficial to examine the meso and macro level transformation to get a more holistic view on business environment, where companies with circular bio-product innovations operate to reveal implementation barriers for the circular bioeconomy.
  • Koskivaara, Atte (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Tieteen- ja politiikanaloilla on viime vuosina esiintynyt kasvavissa määrin mielenkiintoa biotaloustermiä kohtaan. Viime aikoina julkaistuihin poliittisiin dokumentteihin kuuluvat eri valtioiden ja kansainvälisten organisaatioiden kuten Euroopan unionin ja OECD:n biotalousstrategiat. Tähänastinen aiheeseen liittyvä tutkimus on keskittynyt lähinnä eri biotalousstrategioiden sisältöjen tutkimiseen. Lisäksi biotalouden määritelmään ja tulevaisuuteen liittyviä tutkimuksia erityisesti teknologisestä näkökulmasta on tehty jonkin verran. Tutkimuksia biotalouden sosiaalisesta puolesta, kuten sen eri sidosryhmien näkemyksistä biotalouden kehittymiseen ei sen sijaan ole juurikaan tehty. Biotalousstrategioiden onnistuneen toteutuksen varmistamiseksi on tärkeää, että eri sidosryhmät hyväksyvät biotalouskonseptin ja jakavat samansuuntaiset visiot sen tulevaisuudesta. Näin ollen on tärkeää ymmärtää miten eri toimijat käsittävät konseptin ja kuinka se mahdollisesti vaikuttaa heidän tuleviin toimiinsa. Tämä tutkimus auttaa hahmottamaan miten biotalouskonsepti ymmärretään Suomen kuitupohjaisella pakkaussektorilla ja millaisena eri sidosryhmät näkevät tulevaisuuden kehityksen. Tutkimus perustuu kirjallisuuskatsaukseen sekä laadulliseen analyysiin, jota varten on haastateltu 14:ää biotalouden asiantuntijaa. Tutkimus on ensimmäisiä laatuaan, joten sidosryhmät valittiin tarkoituksena kattaa sektori laajasti. Painotus asetettiin kuitenkin teollisuuden edustajille, jotta riittävä ymmärrys tulevaisuuden kehityspoluista liiketoiminnan näkökulmasta olisi mahdollista saavuttaa. Muita sidosryhmiä tutkimuksessa edustivat tutkimus, julkinen hallinto ja kansalaisjärjestöt. Tulokset osoittavat, että, sidosryhmien ymmärrys biotalouskonseptista oli samantapainen. Konseptin taloudelliset motiivit tunnistettiin tärkeäksi tekijäksi, vaikka myös ympäristöön liittyviä kestävyystekijöitä nostettiin laajasti esille. Keskityttäessä tarkemmin joihinkin aiheisiin, haastateltavien mielipiteet alkoivat erota toisistaan. Suurimmat erot hyväksyttävyydessä ja asenteissa löytyivät teollisuuden edustajien ryhmän sekä sen ja muiden sidosryhmien välillä. Teollisuuden edustajien näkemykset ulottuivat optimistisista näkemyksistä erittäin skeptisiin ja turhautuneisiin näkemyksiin biotaloudesta ja sitä kuvailtiinkin usein markkinointiterminä. Kuitenkin eri kestävyystekijöiden huomioiminen koettiin tulevaisuuden kilpailukykyä parantavana tekijänä. Muut sidosryhmät jakoivat positiivisen näkemyksen biotaloudesta sektoreita yhdistävänä konseptina. Tutkimus osoitti, että kaikki sidosryhmät on huomioitava biotalouskonseptin tulevaisuuden kehityksessä. Brändien omistajat koettiin kaikkein potentiaalisimmiksi muutoksen synnyttäjiksi, mutta heidän näkemykset puuttuivat tästä tutkimuksesta. Tutkimus keskittyi biotalouden operatiivisiin toimijoihin, jota voidaan pitää toisena tutkimusta rajoittavana tekijänä, koska se heikentää tutkimuksen luotettavuutta strategisesta näkökulmasta. Lisäksi osassa haastatteluissa ei päästy haastateltavan omien tarkoitusperien yli vaan haastattelut jäivät siltä osin pinnallisiksi, haastateltavien omia asemiaan suojeleviksi.
  • Ramakrishnan, Muthusamy; Yrjälä, Kim; Vinod, Kunnummal Kurungara; Sharma, Anket; Cho, Jungnam; Satheesh, Viswanathan; Zhou, Mingbing (2020)
    Sustainable goals for contemporary world seek viable solutions for interconnected challenges, particularly in the fields of food and energy security and climate change. We present bamboo, one of the versatile plant species on earth, as an ideal candidate for bioeconomy for meeting some of these challenges. With its potential realized, particularly in the industrial sector, countries such as China are going extensive with bamboo development and cultivation to support a myriad of industrial uses. These include timber, fiber, biofuel, paper, food, and medicinal industries. Bamboo is an ecologically viable choice, having better adaptation to wider environments than do other grasses, and can help to restore degraded lands and mitigate climate change. Bamboo, as a crop species, has not become amenable to genetic improvement, due to its long breeding cycle, perennial nature, and monocarpic behavior. One of the commonly used species, moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) is a potential candidate that qualifies as industrial bamboo. With its whole-genome information released, genetic manipulations of moso bamboo offer tremendous potential to meet the industrial expectations either in quality or in quantity. Further, bamboo cultivation can expect several natural hindrances through biotic and abiotic stresses, which needs viable solutions such as genetic resistance. Taking a pragmatic view of these future requirements, we have compiled the present status of bamboo physiology, genetics, genomics, and biotechnology, particularly of moso bamboo, to drive various implications in meeting industrial and cultivation requirements. We also discuss challenges underway, caveats, and contextual opportunities concerning sustainable development.
  • Tiekstra, Sanne; Dopico-Parada, Ana; Koivula, Hanna; Lahti, Johanna; Buntinx, Mieke (2021)
    Market implementation of active and intelligent packaging (AIP) technologies specifically for fiber-based food packaging can be hindered by various factors. This paper highlights those from a social, economic, environmental, and legislative point of view, and elaborates upon the following aspects mainly related to interactions among food packaging value chain stakeholders: (i) market drivers that affect developments, (ii) the gap between science and industry, (iii) the gap between legislation and practice, (iv) cooperation between the producing stakeholders within the value chain, and (v) the gap between the industry and consumers. We perceive these as the most influential aspects in successful market implementation at a socioeconomic level. The findings are supported by results from quantitative studies analyzing consumer buying expectations about active and intelligent packaging (value perception of packaging functions, intentions to purchase AIP, and willingness to pay more) executed in 16 European countries. Finally, in this paper, we discuss approaches that could direct future activities in the field towards industrial implementation.
  • de Wit, Heleen A.; Lepistö, Ahti; Marttila, Hannu; Wenng, Hannah; Bechmann, Marianne; Blicher-Mathiesen, Gitte; Eklöf, Karin; Futter, Martyn N.; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Kronvang, Brian; Kyllmar, Katarina; Rakovic, Jelena (Wiley, 2020)
    Hydrological Processes 34, 25 (2020)
    Agricultural, forestry-impacted and natural catchments are all vectors of nutrient loading in the Nordic countries. Here, we present concentrations and fluxes of total nitrogen (totN) and phosphorus (totP) from 69 Nordic headwater catchments (Denmark: 12, Finland:18, Norway:17, Sweden:22) between 2000 and 2018. Catchments span the range of Nordic climatic and environmental conditions and include natural sites and sites impacted by agricultural and forest management. Concentrations and fluxes of totN and totP were highest in agricultural catchments, intermediate in forestry-impacted and lowest in natural catchments, and were positively related %agricultural land cover and summer temperature. Summer temperature may be a proxy for terrestrial productivity, while %agricultural land cover might be a proxy for catchment nutrient inputs. A regional trend analysis showed significant declines in N concentrations and export across agricultural (−15 μg totN L−1 year−1) and natural (−0.4 μg NO3-N L−1 year−1) catchments, but individual sites displayed few long-term trends in concentrations (totN: 22%, totP: 25%) or export (totN: 6%, totP: 9%). Forestry-impacted sites had a significant decline in totP (−0.1 μg P L−1 year−1). A small but significant increase in totP fluxes (+0.4 kg P km−2 year−1) from agricultural catchments was found, and countries showed contrasting patterns. Trends in annual concentrations and fluxes of totP and totN could not be explained in a straightforward way by changes in runoff or climate. Explanations for the totN decline include national mitigation measures in agriculture international policy to reduced air pollution and, possibly, large-scale increases in forest growth. Mitigation to reduce phosphorus appears to be more challenging than for nitrogen. If the green shift entails intensification of agricultural and forest production, new challenges for protection of water quality will emerge possible exacerbated by climate change. Further analysis of headwater totN and totP export should include seasonal trends, aquatic nutrient species and a focus on catchment nutrient inputs.
  • Marttila, Hannu; Lepistö, Ahti; Tolvanen, Anne; Bechmann, Marianne; Kyllmar, Katarina; Juutinen, Artti; Wenng, Hannah; Skarbøvik, Eva; Futter, Martyn; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Rankinen, Katri; Hellsten, Seppo; Klove, Bjorn; Kronvang, Brian; Oyvind, Kaste; Solheim, Anne Lyche; Brattacharjee, Joy; Rakovici, Jelena; de Wit, Heleen (Springer Link, 2020)
    Ambio 49 11 (2020)
    Nordic water bodies face multiple stressors due to human activities, generating diffuse loading and climate change. The ‘green shift’ towards a bio-based economy poses new demands and increased pressure on the environment. Bioeconomy-related pressures consist primarily of more intensive land management to maximise production of biomass. These activities can add considerable nutrient and sediment loads to receiving waters, posing a threat to ecosystem services and good ecological status of surface waters. The potential threats of climate change and the ‘green shift’ highlight the need for improved understanding of catchment-scale water and element fluxes. Here, we assess possible bioeconomy-induced pressures on Nordic catchments and associated impacts on water quality. We suggest measures to protect water quality under the ‘green shift’ and propose ‘road maps’ towards sustainable catchment management. We also identify knowledge gaps and highlight the importance of long-term monitoring data and good models to evaluate changes in water quality, improve understanding of bioeconomy-related impacts, support mitigation measures and maintain ecosystem services.
  • Ilvonen, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The importance of multipurpose forests is increasing since forests can simultaneously provide solutions for climate change mitigation, biodiversity protection, and the diverse needs of humans. Therefore, forest management practices, various management objectives, and forest-related policies become necessary parts of sustainable forestry. A notable share of forest management decisions depends on the preferences and motives of private forest owners, and an increasing number of owners are interested in other than timber values in their properties. In addition, changes in forest ownership structures and varied use of forest management alternatives emphasize understanding private forest owners’ management motives. This thesis aims to examine Finnish private forest owners and their forest management preferences regarding the support of biodiversity values and interest in wood-material production for the needs of the bioeconomy. The survey data were collected in spring 2020 and included a choice experiment with three forest management schemes. Two hypothetical management contracts, timber-oriented, and nature-oriented strategies, were used as alternatives for the conventional management practices. The long-term effects from each management scheme were described with the changes in profit, biodiversity, carbon stock, climate change-induced damages, and one-time subsidy. The survey data were analyzed using conditional logit, random parameters logit, and latent class logit models. Forest owners consider biodiversity values and raw material supply for the bioeconomy important. However, the results suggest that, on average, forest owners may not be willing to accept the timber-oriented management contract, whereas the nature-oriented management strategy is generally a more preferred option. The latent class model reveals three forest owner types with different preferences and management objectives. The largest share of the respondents is identified as Traditionalists who prefer conventional management practices to other alternatives. They might be reluctant to change their strategies despite the level of subsidies. The smallest group, Environmentalists, is oriented towards environmental and natural values in their forests and would most likely use continuous cover forestry and safeguard biodiversity values. The monetary support does not necessarily impact their management decisions. The rest of the respondents are described as Profit-oriented owners who may be a potential target for various forest management contracts. They consider their property more often as financial security and could be motivated by compensation. The possibility for productive and viable forests has a considerable impact on forest owners’ management decisions. However, the results indicate broad interest in various management alternatives, and the segment-based analyses reveal different forest management objectives among the owners. Therefore, understanding the diversity between forest owners helps policymakers to target specific policy goals more effectively.
  • Antikainen, Riina; Dalhammar, Carl; Hildén, Mikael; Judl, Jáchym; Jääskeläinen, Tiina; Kautto, Petrus; Koskela, Sirkka; Kuisma, Mika; Lazarevic, David; Mäenpää, Ilmo; Ovaska, Jukka-Pekka; Peck, Philip; Rodhe, Håkan; Temmes, Armi; Thidell, Åke (Finnish Environment Institute, 2017)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 13/2017
    Environmental problems, combined with European Union environmental and energy policies shaped to address them, have created pressures for change. Some of these open significant opportunities to renew industries. This report delivers new understanding of the potential of circular economy for sustainable renewal of manufacturing in bio-based industries. With particular focus on novel value chains, it provides novel insights into the role of innovation policies in facilitating the shift towards sustainable, circular bioeconomy in Finland and Sweden. The textile and multi-storey wood construction sectors, and emergent biorefineries are utilised as case studies that deepen understanding of the circular bioeconomy, its opportunities, barriers, and impacts, and the policies that affect its emergence. Recent developments of bioeconomy and circular economy solutions and governance in the Netherlands are also summarised in order to deliver contrasting context to the Nordic focus countries. In this work, the bioeconomy is conceptualised as an economy where the basic building blocks for materials, chemicals and energy are derived from renewable biological resources, such as plant and animal biomass. The essence of the circular economy, that is used here, lies in maximisation of added value and in making the best use of any extracted raw material. This analysis shows that to date discussions and activities related to the promotion of bioeconomy and circular economy have largely been separate efforts, but there are signs that the discussions may converge. It finds that while the form of developments are similar in Finland and in Sweden in the case areas (i.e. textiles, wood construction and biorefineries), there are also clear differences in the strengths of the countries. Evidence is found that such strengths offer potential to develop world leadership in a circular bioeconomy. The report identifies policy recommendations to support renewal of manufacturing in the wood based industries towards a sustainable circular bioeconomy.
  • Mickwitz, Per; Seppälä, Jyri; Kauppi, Lea; Hildén, Mikael (Finnish Environment Institute, 2014)
    SYKE Policy Brief