Grassroots innovation in ecological management in Finnish agricultural areas

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201806122416
Title: Grassroots innovation in ecological management in Finnish agricultural areas
Author: Koivuranta, Riina
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2018
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201806122416
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/236021
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: The concept of ecological management can be seen tackling the relationship of agriculture and environment, not only from the perspective of limiting the negative effects of farming practices, but also promoting positive actions. This notion of managing and maintaining, rather than leaving alone, is currently in the core of biodiversity promotion in agricultural landscapes in Europe. The focus of this thesis are the perceptions Finnish agri-environmental actors have regarding ecological management innovation stemming from the grassroots. In this thesis I assess how i) Finnish agri-environmental actors perceive grassroots innovation, ii) weigh its barriers and enabling factors, as well as iii) envision further needs regarding these innovations. The study is based on a mixed-methods approach using both qualitative and quantitative data; a questionnaire and two focus group discussions conducted during a two-day seminar “Managing Nature - working together” 29.11.-30.11.2016 in Turku. The study was conducted in co-operation with the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), University of Helsinki Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and a Horizon2020 project HNV-Link. I approached the research questions using an iterative approach, and my analysis is guided by Grounded Theory in constant comparative analysis and generating theory. The results indicate that Finnish agricultural actors acknowledge the heterogeneous nature of grassroots actors in agricultural areas. However, several common attributes are linked to innovation stemming from the grassroots such as practical, economic and local. Currently bureaucracy, lack of cooperation and the changes and challenges in the socio-cultural environment of grassroots hinder ecological management grassroots innovation. Finnish agri-environmental actors acknowledge that the challenges biodiversity in agricultural areas face, are of such magnitude that the need is rather to expand, not narrow down the actor-base for innovation.
Subject: biodiversity
farming
experiment
Grounded Theory
Finland
Discipline: Kasvintuotantotieteet
Plant Production Science
Växtproduktionsvetenskap


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