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Browsing by master's degree program "Ympäristömuutoksen ja globaalin kestävyyden maisteriohjelma"

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  • Syrjälä, Sami (2021)
    Electronic waste is the fastest growing type of waste stream in the world, and this development results from the rapidly accelerating digitalization. Electronic devices become obsolete on an accelerating speed, as there are constantly more powerful devices coming to the market. The most significant environmental impacts of this development are greenhouse gas emissions and natural resource consumption. Circular economy has been proposed as a solution to these environmental challenges, and the goal of this approach is to preserve the value of the materials in the circulation as efficiently as possible. One way of implementing the principles of circular economy is the product-as-a-service-based business model. This research examines the differences between the product-as-a-service-based model and ownership-based model in terms of the environmental impacts that are related to the laptop and tablet procurements. The results of this thesis will be utilized in implementing the actions of the City of Helsinki’s Roadmap for Circular and Sharing Economy. This research was conducted as streamlined life cycle assessment, in which the systematic literature review was used for tracking the environmental impacts of the products’ life cycle stages and components. In addition, expert interviews were carried out in order to collect information about the reuse and recycling practices of the supplier companies that follow these previously mentioned business models. Finally, based on the results of the systematic literature review and the interviews, the company specific differences were assessed in terms of the greenhouse gas emissions and material waste that result from the procurements. The City of Helsinki’s annual procurement volumes were used in this assessment. Based on the results of this research, production and use are the most significant life cycle stages in terms of the devices’ greenhouse gas emissions. Printed circuit boards/printed wiring boards, integrated circuits, displays, and casings are the components with the most significant impact. The results suggest that increasing the lifespan of the devices provides opportunities for significantly lowering impacts in both impact categories, if the devices are efficiently recycled after this.
  • Lyytikäinen, Veera (2020)
    It is widely acknowledged that previous efforts to communicate the severity and rate of climate change have failed. Science communication has for decades relied on the presumption that more information leads to more informed decisions, thus so far, the scientific consensus about human-caused climate change has not resulted in required changes in behaviour. Previous communication efforts have, for the most part, attributed inaction to the lack of information, but in doing so, have excluded many social and psychological elements of communication. Although raising the level of awareness about climate change has been successful, climate change remains to be perceived to be a distal threat. Recently, more sophisticated approaches have been developed to meaningfully communicate climate change, drawing attention to the framing of the communication. In this study, a new approach to science-based environmental communication is evaluated. The case study seeks to address how immersive Virtual Reality (VR) can be used as a tool in science-based environmental communication for policymakers in a locally relevant context. Via immersive VR, information about forests’ role in climate change is mediated to forest policymakers. In the science communication, climate change is framed as an experiential, local, and present risk, promoting a problem definition that focuses on the climate effects of forest utilisation. I evaluate the success of the science-based environmental communication by measuring participants’ personal responses. I focus on measuring enjoyment, interest, trust, and usability. The study participants are members of the Parliament of Finland and governmental officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; and the Ministry of the Environment. The study material consists of feedback forms from participants (N=65) and interviews of the key actors (N=7). To consider the historical background and many conflicting interests in Finnish forest and climate politics, I focus on the comparison between the natural resource position and the environmental position. The results of this study offer compelling evidence for how differently policymakers representing these two positions perceive the usage of immersive VR in science-based environmental communication. The environmental position indicated significantly higher levels of success on all measured components. Considering that the science communication framed forest utilisation as an environmental issue, it is not surprising that participants holding the environmental position perceived the science communication to be more enjoyable, interesting, trustworthy, and usable. Accordingly, the study results provide additional support for the idea of Finnish forest policy as a polarised field of policy with two main positions. With the means of immersive VR, I was able to induce strong personal responses to the science communication. Participants holding the natural resource position were more likely to challenge the legitimacy of the information and the use of VR in science communication than participants holding the environmental position. The results point to the likelihood that communicating climate change via immersive VR can induce strong negative emotions in the participants, but when the communication is comparable with the policymaker's policy preferences, they respond more positively. The study results also suggest, that to communicate climate change more meaningfully, immersive VR should be further explored as a supplementary tool in science communication.
  • Aapio, Fanny (2020)
    Food literacy is a noteworthy topic to be studied due to food’s considerable environmental and health effects. When food literacy and its characteristics are known, food literacy can be used as a tool to improve people’s health and the condition of the environment. Thus, this thesis aims to reveal the extent of food literacy among Finnish upper secondary school students. In this context, food literacy emphasises food-related environmental and health knowledge. Environmental knowledge is understanding of the global environmental impact of food. Health knowledge, on the other hand, is the familiarity with the relationship between excessive meat consumption and Finnish common diseases along with beliefs regarding diets and food products as a source of protein. This thesis also aims to identify to what extent does the food literacy differ based on gender, study year and living area. This study was performed as a quantitative sample survey and the data was collected using an online Typeform -questionnaire. The questionnaire reached respondents from many different Finnish localities, mainly from cities. The final data consisted of 1320 individuals and it was analysed using IMB SPSS Statistics 24 software. The following methods were used to analyse data: frequency analysis, an Independent Samples t Test, a One-way ANOVA, and a Post-hoc LSD test. Gender, study year and living area were used as grouping variables to examine the differences between groups. The results show that the students named school as the main source of food literacy. Moreover, the results indicate that awareness regarding food production, dietary health and proteins increase significantly from the first to the third study year. The students acknowledged food production causing environmental problems and that the share of food in the consumer’s climatic impact is considerable. Nevertheless, the students underestimated the climatic impact of cheese and they were unaware of the more specific characteristics of food’s environmental impacts. They also had food-related environmental misconceptions considering packaging, transportation and meat consumption. Moreover, approximately half or more of the students were aware of the connection between excessive meat consumption and the increased risk of distinct common diseases. Most of the students acknowledged a versatile vegetarian diet as being a healthy choice. The study also reveals that female students had notably higher dietary health knowledge than male students. This Master’s thesis study mainly supports the findings of previous studies on food-related knowledge. The results elucidate the extent, characteristics, gaps and misconceptions of students’ food literacy. These findings may be utilized to improve school education on food literacy, alter misconceptions and fill the gaps of knowledge in pursuit of improving the health of people and the condition of the environment.
  • Jokinen, Toni (2019)
    In this thesis I focus on a novel disaster response and preparedness mechanism called forecast-based financing. The mechanism is linked to the changing paradigm of humanitarian response that calls for more localized and more resilience building solutions to addressing and preventing humanitarian crisis. It is also in the core of the anticipation agenda which argues that waiting for disasters to happen is not a sustainable option and that forecast data and pre-agreed triggers and actions should be used in order to prevent both loss of lives and mitigate the cost and impact of disasters. Main hypothesis is that climate related hazards to livelihoods and food security seems to be the sector where forecast-based financing could have most potential for increasing resilience and sustainability. Slow onset crises with long lead-time allow for better targeting and more variety of actions. As the lifetime of the action is longer, there is less chance of action which is in vain. Furthermore, the actions which are more localized, for example direct support to farmers, can decrease their vulnerabilities. I aim at taking a critical approach to assessing this potentiality associated with the forecast-based financing mechanism through case study. The three cases (Mongolia, Kenya, Zimbabwe) were selected from pilots implemented by the main actors: the Red Cross, World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Start Network. This thesis uses a combination of evaluative and heuristic approach to qualitative case study analysis. To answer the first research question, 1) is the forecast-based financing mechanism successful in prioritization of actions in a way that best address the needs and resources of vulnerable populations, I aim at finding out if mechanism is effective (or potentially effective) in delivering impact. For the second research question, 2) are the actions sustainable and do they bring socio-economic benefits that go beyond meeting acute humanitarian needs, I will see if new pathways are found for confirming the defined hypothesis. I am using heuristic approach in terms of finding new links e.g. between actions and needs of either donors, actors or beneficiaries. I asses and analyse available reports and evaluations (secondary data) of the selected operations. I conducted eleven (11) semi-structured key informant interviews (primary data) using practitioner’s perspective for retrieving qualitative data, for further understanding and for triangulation. All key informants were affiliated to the cases. My analysis show that the potentiality for development impacts and long-term transformation of the forecast-based financing is there but it is not utilized in the cases reviewed nor is it perceived in a same way across practitioners of different backgrounds. Currently the mechanism is used more for effective response, not for addressing the root causes of vulnerability. In general, the entitlement or empowering of a person who is affected by disaster currently does not go beyond securing bridge over lean season, avoiding negative coping mechanisms or e.g. better yield or survival of livestock. Sustainability potential of the forecast-based financing seems to be currently underutilized and international funding envelopes do not offer an alternative to the humanitarian funding launched case-by-case. Most of the practitioners interviewed were clearly in favour of linking and using forecast-based financing in some way to long-term programming, thinking outside of the framework of humanitarian response, extending lead time significantly and adding positive reinforcement inputs. I argue that with a lead time that goes long in advance, towards development actions, the mechanism needs to be reframed for the donors and the sources of funding might need to be reconsidered. To implement meaningful resilience actions in slow onset cases, triggers need to be early enough and actions in two phases: 1) anticipatory and benefiting from forecast and 2) early response. At beneficiary level the actions should be geared up to better address underlying socio-economic vulnerabilities and take advantage of the long lead time.
  • Virtanen, Tia-Maria (2020)
    Earth’s overshoot day marks the date when humanity’s ecological footprint exceeds Earth’s biocapacity for the year. As the day fell on earlier every year it shows that our current consumption pattern is unsustainable. One of the main human sources of greenhouse gas emissions is related to household consumption and thus companies play an important role in developing consumption practices more sustainable for consumers as they are the main providers of products and services. This research examines the ways three Finnish companies guide consumers towards environmentally sustainable choices as well as drivers and barriers related to consumer guidance. The objective is to enlighten companies’ consumer guiding methods as part of corporate responsibility and understand which factors encourage and hinder companies to guide consumers. The research was conducted as a qualitative multiple-case study. The case companies were Valio, S Group’s grocery stores and Fazer. The research data was collected via companies’ sustainability reports and focused semi-structured interviews by interviewing the case companies’ employees working with corporate responsibility, environmental management and communication. The data was analyzed by data-driven content analysis. The findings show that the case companies use guiding methods to steer consumers to environmentally sustainable choices: information provision, choice editing, nudging and financial incentives. The current trends related to sustainability and responsibility as well as a potential competitive advantage, the protection of brand image, the benefits of a forerunner, and a corporate strategy in which sustainability is an integral part encourage companies to guide consumers. Whereas, the principle of consumers’ freedom of choice, the responsibility of a big operator as well as risks related to the development of innovations and being a forerunner cause tensions in consumer guidance. The results confirm that various tensions are related to guiding consumers towards sustainability. Especially, the concept of consumers’ freedom of choice is firmly embedded in the mindset of business. Therefore, future research could examine the ways to bring these tensions and underlying contradictions more strongly into the public discussion to find solutions to promote sustainable consumption for consumers among companies.
  • Pakarinen, Tytti (2019)
    On a global scale the amount of meals consumed outside home setting continues to increase, which means that food service sector has a significant role in reaching global sustainability goals. Finland has a long tradition of public food services and a significant part of Finnish people enjoy a government-subsidized daily lunch. As a student restaurant UniCafe participates in Kela-funded meal scheme, thus UniCafe’s meals follow Finnish Nutrition Recommendations’ nutritional criteria for meals. This research examines the ways UniCafe guides its customers to making environmentally sustainable choices in their restaurants. This thesis also reviews UniCafe’s environmental sustainability measures, most significant of which are offering sustainable meal options, sourcing responsible ingredients and products, proper waste sorting and reducing food waste. This research also dwells in to the reasons behind these environmental measures and examines UniCafe as a forerunner company in the food service sector. The level of acceptability of different customer guidance ways are also evaluated on a general level and within UniCafe clientele. This research was conducted via qualitative case study research approach. The data for this research was col-lected via semi-structured theme interviews by interviewing UniCafe and Ylva restaurant and support services staff. Additionally, primary research data also comprised of Ylva’s online publications on responsibility and business operations. The data was analyzed by qualitative theory-guiding content analysis. According to the results, UniCafe is a forerunner company due to its unique customer and ownership base. UniCafe is expected to take environmental sustainability into account in their daily operations and selections. Five different customer guidance ways used by UniCafe were identified in this research: forced choice re-striction, choice editing, nudging, financial incentives and informational strategies. Most UniCafe customers accept the use of these different customer guidance methods but UniCafe perceives forced choice restriction as problematic, particularly on campuses that do not have many UniCafe restaurants. The results show that UniCafe guides its customers in many ways to promote environmental sustainability of their operations and their customers. In addition, the results confirm that methods such as informational strat-egies are perceived as more acceptable but simultaneously less effective than methods that restrict freedom of choice. In general, UniCafe customers approve environmental sustainability measures and customer guidance. On the other hand, UniCafe’s unique position in the student lunch market in Helsinki metropole area means that the results of this research cannot be generalized to apply to other food service sector operators.
  • Huuskonen, Heli (2020)
    Socio-ecological transition refers to a fundamental change in the structure, culture, and practices of a socio-ecological system. Socio-ecological transitions have been studied especially from an ecological perspective. In recent years, cities have been studied more as socio-ecological systems. The role of individual actors in socio-ecological transitions has not been on a focus of previous research of socio-ecological systems. The study intends to fulfill this gap. This master's thesis examines two cases in Helsinki, namely the evacuation of the residents of Myllypuro Alakiventie in 1999 and the Kyläsaari waste incineration plant in 1983 as socio-ecological transitions. The purpose of the study is to describe the progress of the socio-ecological transition in both cases by placing the course of cases in adaptive circles. The second aim of the study is to find out whether the Helsinki City Administration was able to promote or slow down the progress of the socio-ecological transition, which is being studied in relation to other actors in the socio-ecological transition. As research material consist article from Helsingin Sanomat newspaper and documents from the City of Helsinki Archives. The Master’s thesis describes the progress of the socio-ecological transition in both cases, as well as the role of the actors in the transition. The results show that the City of Helsinki administration had a limited opportunity to promote and slow down the progress of the socio-ecological transition. Other actors in the socio-ecological transformation, such as the townspeople, were also able to influence the progression of the socio-ecological transformation, which made it difficult for city governments to slow down or promote the transformation. In particular, the conflict between the city government and the Helsinki citizens slowed or prevented the city government from reaching its goals. However, the study finds that the city administration was not able to prevent the complete socio-ecological transition in the study cases. Better communication with the citizens and the avoidance of conflicts would help the City of Helsinki's administration to influence the progress of the socio-ecological transition more effectively in the future.
  • Ahonen, Veronica (2019)
    Permafrost peatlands have the capacity to store significant amounts of carbon, and thus they act as important controllers of the climate. Approximately 14% of the world’s soil organic carbon pool is stored in permafrost peatlands, which are sensitive to climatic fluctuations due to their location in the high latitudes of the subarctic zone. Permafrost peatlands also act as a habitat for a large number of moisture-sensitive organisms, such as bryophytes and testate amoebae, which can be used to study how the hydrology of peatlands has changed and will continue to change throughout time, giving us an opportunity to predict the future of peatlands under a changing climate. In this Master’s Thesis I examined the testate amoebae composition and used these species as indicators to study hydrological fluctuations from three subarctic permafrost peatland cores extracted from Taavavuoma and Abisko in northern Sweden. The species compositions were combined with radiocarbon (14C) and lead (210Pb) dates to reconstruct the past water table levels for the late Holocene, spanning four climatic periods. The reconstructions were then compared to past studies on testate amoebae to understand how permafrost peatlands and their species assemblages respond to changes in the hydrology of the active layer of the peat. Out of the study sites only the Taavavuoma cores spanned the Dark Age Cold Period (DACP) and Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA). Species compositions in both cores indicated fluctuating water tables during the DACP, but during the MCA the results began to contradict with one site showing a wetter, and the other a drier MCA. Two out of three study sites indicated a wetter Little Ice Age and a drier Post-Industrial Warming, supporting past studies indicating similar results, whereas one study site gave opposite results. The results indicated large variability in testate amoebae assemblages throughout time, indicating that the hydrology of peatlands can change very abruptly and vary considerably even on a local scale. Modelling is however complicated by the poorly known ecology of testate amoebae, which is why a multi-proxy approach is essential to reliably predict the future fate of permafrost peatlands.
  • Boxström, Agneta (2021)
    Abstract: Northern boreal peatlands form one of the biggest carbon pools in the biosphere, thus having great potential to cause major changes to the global carbon cycle. The ongoing recent warming may affect the carbon dynamics though factors, such as, vegetation, hydrology and permafrost balance. As the future is still uncertain there are no definitive answers on how the peatlands will react in the future. Fortunately, moisture sensitive organisms such as, bryophytes and testate amoeba is preserved in the peat and can therefore be used to reconstruct past climatic shifts. In this thesis I studied palaeohydrology and peat accumulation over the last two millennia, from three peat cores originating in a permafrost peatland in Rogovaya, Russia. I used testate amoeba as a proxy of past moisture conditions and plotted the taxa composition of each core against 14C and 210Pb dated samples, to reconstruct past moisture shifts. The results were also supplemented by plant macrofossil and carbon accumulation data for more robust results. Of the three cores, Rog11 provided the oldest testate amoeba dataset by reaching the Dark Ages Cold Period. During this period there were indications of dry moisture conditions followed by a wet Medieval Warm Period. The Little Ice Age gave indications of a drying trend, while toward the end of the LIA Rog8 indicated opposite moisture conditions. From the end of the LIA onwards a general trend of drying and increased carbon accumulated is noted. Yet, during the last decade the trend has turned. The wet shift might indicate that the threshold for the peatland has been reached and the amount of melting permafrost has exceeded the evapotranspiration rate. As a conclusion my result indicates that the dynamics of both hydrology and carbon are complicated processes affected by both autogenic and allogenic factors, therefore causing large variability even on a local scale. The absence of widely spread observations of the most recent wet shift also indicates that the response of the peatland to the recent warming might be unequal. To rectify this situation, continued research is crucial, so that we can increase our understanding of climate-peatland interactions.
  • Keränen, Fanny (2021)
    This study aimed to identify conservation landscapes with potential to be mutually beneficial for people and African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) in South Africa through spatial conservation planning analyses that integrate ecological and socioeconomic data. The research questions were: (i) what are the most ecologically suitable areas for the reintroduction of elephants, and (ii) which of these areas provide the best opportunities for also sustaining socioeconomic development of local people. The first question was answered with an ecological model that predicts habitat suitability for elephants, developed by a combination of literature review, expert opinion, and GIS-based methods. The second question was answered by combining the ecological model with socioeconomic criteria in Zonation spatial conservation planning software. The results show that the central part of South Africa holds most potential for elephant conservation as it has the largest uniform area of high-quality habitat, while the area also meets the socioeconomic criteria. The priority areas for the conservation of elephants were classified into top priority classes of 1%, 2%, 5%, 10% and 20%. The identified areas hold an unrealized opportunity in the wildlife and ecotourism sectors, and the reintroduction of elephants to those areas could provide the foundation for long-term economic activity of local communities e.g. in the form of elephant-based ecotourism, while contributing to the conservation of elephants. Conserving just the top 5% priority areas would grow South African protected area estate by approximately three million hectares and increase the current elephant range by approximately 75%. Ideally, the results of this study could be used to inform the on-going decision-making process on where to allocate resources for elephant conservation in South Africa.
  • Keinänen, Milka (2020)
    High Nature Value (HNV) farming systems hold significant natural values but have decreased drastically during the process of agricultural modernization. Biodiversity in Europe is dependent on these extensively farmed areas because they maintain habitats for many endangered species; e.g. 30% of Europe's butterfly species have declining populations and most live in natural and semi-natural habitats. European common agricultural policy (CAP) favour conventional agriculture, leading HNV agriculture in a foul position. HNV areas are often abandoned or replaced with intensive farming practices. Participatory agricultural innovation processes offer solutions to the distress of HNV farmlands. In these processes different actors – such as farmers, entrepreneurs, advisors, NGO and municipality representatives – are brought together to find localized solutions to the challenges of the area. HNV-Link project was active during years 2016-2019 identifying, developing and improving innovations in ten European HNV farming areas. In this thesis I examine the success of innovations in seven Learning Areas (LA) in terms of socio-economic viability, environmental conservation and cultural region. The data in this thesis is both quantitative and qualitative. I use mixed methods- approach where the statistical analysis and qualitative content analysis support each other. I carried out a survey for the LA coordinators where they responded how was the impact of the innovations to social, economic and environmental wellbeing. I complement the survey with data gathered by the project in 2016-2017. I conduct a qualitative content analysis to innovation fiches using Atlas.ti programme and a statistical analysis with IMB SPSS statistics programme with non-parametric tests. I compare the relation of socio-economic and environmental impact of the innovations, explicit aim of HNV conservation, recognition of environmental topics in the fiches and cultural region. Innovations were successful both socio-economically and environmentally. There was a possible synergy between economic and environmental impacts, which indicates economic viability of the LA’s improving HNV conservation. Innovations with explicit HNV conservation objective had more positive environmental impact than the ones without. Innovations with high recognition of environmental themes in fiches had slightly more positive environmental impact, but the difference was so weak that they fail to express the environmental outcomes reported in the survey. Congruent patterns didn’t occur inside cultural regions which might be due to the similarities of the areas or small sample size. The results display the inherent unpredictability of innovation processes, and the importance of holistic understanding and long-term monitoring of them.
  • Winquist, Emelie (2021)
    The heath vegetation in the Jauristunturit study area is highly affected by the reindeer fence that was built in the mid-1950s between Finland and Norway, to prevent summer grazing in the Norwegian side. In the study area, the Finnish and Norwegian pastures are used during different seasons, causing differences in reindeer grazing history, and with time differences in vegetation. Additionally, local topography also impacts the vegetation composition and structure creating variation in local vegetation patterns. My research questions are: How vegetation patterns differ between summer- and winter- grazed areas, and which plant functional groups have the most significant difference? How local topography affects vegetation patterns, and does the effect of topography differ between summer and winter pastures? The data was collected from five 400 m long transects that crossed the fence and had vegetation plots with 10-m intervals. The %-cover and height of each vascular plant, bryophyte, and lichen species were estimated from 0.25 m2 plots. Later, species data was grouped into functional groups and general linear models were used to analyze differences in cover, height, species number, biomass, and leaf-area indices between countries. Topography indices were calculated in GIS for each plot and analyzed with random forest models to find out the most important topography indices explaining vegetation patterns. The vegetation data was collected by four teams, and therefore, the comparability in the collected data between teams was analyzed. Significant vegetation differences were found in the ground layer, with higher cover and biomass of bryophytes on the Finnish side (mean biomass 168.2 vs. 65.2 g m-2). Reindeer lichens were more abundant on the Norwegian side (mean biomass 197.0 vs. 2.9 g m-2) which is visible in aerial and satellite images and in the field. Among vascular plants, evergreen dwarf shrubs had higher biomass and leaf area index on the Finnish side and dwarf birch had higher cover and height on the Norwegian side. Topography indices had a higher level of variance explained on the Norwegian side, and higher at the ground layer compared to vascular plants. Elevation had the greatest impact on vegetation, and after that, topography protection index for 50 m and depth to water stream network for 2 and 10 ha. The differences between data collectors were not considered to have a major impact on the results. The results indicate that there are significant differences in vegetation between summer- and winter-grazed areas, mainly in the ground layer, and most differences are caused by differences in reindeer grazing history, but also local topography has an impact.
  • Lammensalo, Linda Sofia (2021)
    The intersections of climate change and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) have increasingly received attention from international organisations but also from academia. For some, establishing these intersections is about reducing human pressure on the Earth systems, while for others it is about the human rights of vulnerable individuals and communities. Many have lauded these connections for providing a win-win solution for both. While these benefits are championed, there has been little reflection on the underlying motives and justifications for establishing these connections in the first place. Given the problematic past of population control policies, understanding these justifications is necessary to break away from the neo-colonial practices of the past. This thesis investigates the motives and justifications for establishing such intersections between SRHR and climate change. Specifically, the thesis addresses two questions, namely: 1) In what ways are the interconnections between SRHR and climate change justified in academic literature? 2) What are the implications of the ways in which these interconnections are justified? By drawing on a postcolonial feminist theoretical framework rooted in understanding this nexus critically, and carefully reflecting on the implications of these discourses, the thesis answers these questions by systematically drawing on a sustained body of research. The data consist of 88 academic publications that are systematised through discourse analysis. The findings identify six distinctive intersectional discourses which reflect the ways in which SRHR, and climate change are justified, namely: public health, population dynamics, reproductive rights, critical, sustainable development and environment discourses. Largely reflecting adherence to liberal feminist and populationist frameworks, these findings imply that the discourses, justifications, and motives do not sufficiently address the neo-colonial practices and structural inequalities that shape intersections between SRHR and climate change. Analytically, therefore, this thesis suggests that postcolonial feminism offers a more effective way for understanding intersectional discourses because it recognises how power inequalities manifest in the discourses, while contributing towards more justice-based approaches to sustainability.
  • Kettunen, Anni (2019)
    Environmental problems are usually complex in nature, encompass uncertainties and affect multiple actors and groups of people in multiple ways. Hence, managing these problems requires transparent decision making that takes into consideration diverse values, perceptions and knowledge of those groups. Decisions that are made in a participatory decision-making process are more likely to express public values and local knowledge than decisions made in top-down management processes. Collaboration has become a ubiquitous concept within the context of participatory planning and environmental management. It is used in describing a wide array of participatory approaches and it is often used as a tool in managing wicked problems. However, participatory approaches do not guarantee better success in solving environmental problems. Hence, it is crucial to deliberate what kind of approach is used and what kind of situations it suits. This master’s thesis examines Metsähallitus’ participatory natural resource planning (NRP) process through the concept of collaboration. The study encompasses two mutually supporting parts: a case study about Metsähallitus’ natural resource planning process for Southern Finland 2017-2022 and an equality analysis encompassing altogether four cooperation groups from natural resource planning processes. The aim of the study is to find out how trust building, commitment, social capital and stakeholders’ opportunities to influence decision-making were realized in the NRP process of Southern Finland. In addition, aspects of equality in natural resource planning are examined. Data of the case study consists of seven qualitative semi-structured interviews. Data is analyzed according to the principles of qualitative content analysis. Data of the equality analysis consists of six NRP cooperation groups’ participant lists and the data is analyzed with quantitative content analysis. Based on the results, opportunities to participate actualize most efficiently in the operational level of the cooperation group. The methods used and facilitator’s contribution enhance the realization of equality within the cooperation group. Stakeholders reported a few defects concerning equal processing of values and interests. For example, topics regarding forestry overweighs other topics. The representativeness of stakeholders was considered good. Representatives of public agencies are most frequently participating of all stakeholder groups. Every fifth participant was a woman. What comes to social capital, one of the main results was increased mutual understanding among stakeholders that resulted from learning from each other in the process. Stakeholders’ perceptions of their opportunities to influence decision-making were labeled partly by contentment and realism, but partly by a low level of expectations. Opportunity to influence in decision-making is a remarkable factor for commitment and motivation to participate. The context of NRP-process also affects the planning and its results, but further research on this topic is needed and I propose this as one future research topic. More research is also needed to evaluate on how one of the main principles of collaboration, sharing decision-making power, affects natural resource planning and its results, if adopted.
  • Kaivosoja, Arttu (2021)
    Planning process for the Arctic Railway was initiated by the Ministry of Transport and Communications in 2017 and lasted until early 2019. The proposed railway line would cut through the homeland of the indigenous Sámi, which received harsh criticism from the Sámi Parliament for its adverse effects on the traditional Sámi culture and livelihood, both protected by the Constitution of Finland. In this thesis the claims of these two actors are analysed using the Justification theory and Justification analysis to gain insight into the underlying justifications that were used to either oppose or support the Arctic Railway. The results will also illuminate how the MTC’s use of justifications resulted in the constitutional rights of the indigenous Sámi being disregarded during the planning process. At the end of this thesis the reader should have a greater understanding of the Arctic Railway’s planning process, the main arguments and justifications of the two key actors, and how they were used to either resist or support the railway’s construction.
  • Eerola, Emmi (2021)
    Kaikkien lauhkealla vyöhykkeellä elävien eliöiden täytyy sopeutua ympäristöolosuhteiden suureen vaihteluun vuodenaikojen mukaan. Vuodenaikaan liittyviin muutoksiin kuuluvat muun muassa lämpötilan ja valoisuuden vaihtelut, jotka ovat selkeitä myös järvissä veden alla. Lämpötilan, ravinteiden ja valon määrät vaikuttavat järven tuottavuuteen ja siten moniin muihin tekijöihin, myös kalojen ravinnon määrään. Eri kalalajit ovat sopeutuneet erilaisiin olosuhteisiin, joissa ne pärjäävät parhaiten, ja jokaisella lajilla on oma optimilämpötilansa. Kalat ovat aktiivisimmillaan niille sopivien olosuhteiden aikaan, mikä useimmilla lajeilla on kesä, jolloin ravintoakin on saatavilla enemmän. Suurin osa kalatutkimuksista tehdään yleensä kesällä avoveden aikaan, koska se on helpompaa ja talvella kalojen ei ajatella olevan tutkimuksen arvoisia. Suuri osa maailman järvistä kuitenkin on jääpeitteen alla osan vuodesta ja talvi on iso osa kalojen elämää, minkä vuoksi niiden tutkiminen vuoden ympäri on tärkeää. Tämän tutkimuksen neljä pääkysymystä olivat: 1. Millä tavalla eri kalalajien, lahkojen, sekä lämpötila- ja ravintokiltojen osuudet saaliista muuttuvat eri vuodenaikoina? 2. Kuinka paljon yksikkösaalis muuttuu vuoden aikana? 3. Miten kalojen koko ja kuntokerroin muuttuvat vuoden aikana? 4. Mitkä eri ympäristö- ja biologiset tekijät selittävät yksikkösaaliin muutoksia? Koekalastusta tehtiin vuosina 2020-2021 vuoden ajan koekalastusverkkosarjalla kolmessa habitaatissa: litoraalissa, profundaalissa ja pelagiaalissa. Joka kuukausi kalastettiin vähintään kolmen päivän ajan. Jokaiselle saadulle kalalle määritettiin laji, pituus, paino ja kuntokerroin ja jokaiselle yksittäiselle pyyntikerralle laskettiin yksikkösaalis. Kalastuksen lisäksi Pääjärvestä otettiin joka kuukausi fysikaaliskemiallisia mittauksia. Koekalastuksen tulosten mukaan selvästi runsain kala Pääjärvessä oli särki, toiseksi runsain kala oli kappalemääränä ahven ja biomassana kuha. Talvea kohti särjen ja ahvenen määrät laskivat, kun taas kuhan, kiisken ja mateen osuudet saaliista nousivat. Selvästi runsain kalalahko vuoden kokonaissaaliissa oli karppikalat, vaikka ahvenkalat olikin runsain lahko loppukesällä ja lopputalvella. Lämpimänveden kaloja oli muita lämpötilakiltoja enemmän koko vuoden saaliissa, vain helmikuussa viileänveden kaloja oli enemmän, kun kiiski oli kuukauden runsain kala. Petokalojen kappalemääräosuus saaliista oli jokaisena kuukautena muita ravintokiltoja pienempi, mutta talvella petokalojen biomassaosuus saaliista oli suurin. Yksikkösaalis oli alhaisimmillaan jääpeitteisinä kuukausina ja suurimmillaan kesällä. Kalojen keskikoko oli talvella kesää suurempi ja kuntokerroin alhaisempi. Kappaleyksikkösaaliin muutoksia eniten selittivät kuntokerroin, lämpötila, typpipitoisuus ja pH, kun taas biomassayksikkösaaliin muutoksia eniten selittivät kuntokerroin, lumensyvyys, lämpötila ja kokonaishiili. Pääjärven kalayhteisön rakenteessa tapahtui muutoksia vuodenaikojen välillä. Selkein muutos oli yksikkösaaliin muutos kesän ja talven välillä. Pääjärven lisäksi ympärivuotista kalatutkimusta pitäisi tehdä morfologisilta ja fysikaaliskemiallisilta piirteiltään erilaisissa järvissä, jotta saataisiin tietoa, miten kalayhteisö reagoi eri vuodenaikoihin eri olosuhteissa.
  • Sarajärvi, Aija (2021)
    Climate change is one of the biggest global threats. Food production is one of the most significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. It has been estimated that food systems account for 19 – 29 % of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Many studies have shown that products of animal origin cause more environmentally harmful emissions than plant-based products. In order to reach the 1,5 degree target, diets need to become more sustainable and more plant-based. The life cycle of food is being studied more today to identify their climate and environmental impact. The purpose of this study was to determine life cycle assessment of a plant-based protein product. The life cycle assessment started with the initial production and ended with the finished product in the factory. The study did not take into account the transport of products to stores and consumer activities. The study examined six different scenarios, which were e.g. dealing with the conversion of mixed electricity to wind power and the impact of the new alternative packaging on the results. The study was made by openLCA and the databases used Ecoinvent 3 and AGRIBYLASE 3.0. Life cycle assessment was examined using the ReCiPe 2016 Midpoint (H). The impact categories were global warming, land use, water consumption and freshwater eutrophication. According to this study, converting mixed electricity to wind power can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49 – 50 %. Converting electricity to wind also significantly reduces land use, water consumption and freshwater eutrophication. Greenhouse gas emissions and phosphorous emissions of plant-based protein are lower than animal origin products. Packaging materials accounted for 7 to 13 % of greenhouse gas emissions. Based on this study, it is recommended to change the primary electric source to wind power.
  • Tuomimaa, Julia (2020)
    Climate change has exacerbated extreme weather events. According to climate scenarios, temperatures will rise and heat periods will become more common also in Finland. These heat periods worsen the urban heat island phenomenon which is known to have negative impacts on human well-being. The impacts of the urban heat island phenomenon can be reduced through careful urban planning, adaptation policies and economic investments. Adaptation to climate change can be monitored through indicators but research and development on adaptation indicators has been largely absent. The development of adaptation monitoring indicators is particularly important in order to ensure the long-term success of the city's adaptation efforts and whether adaptation is moving towards the desired goals. This thesis asks the following research question with the help of a literature review, a focus group discussion and a questionnaire: what kind of indicators can be used to monitor and evaluate adaptation to the urban heat island phenomenon in Helsinki? With the help of the literature review and New York Climate Change Panels framework “the seven steps to indicator selection”, 17 preliminary indicators were developed which were divided into six themes accounting the diverse nature of the urban heat island and its impacts. The indicators were specified in a focus group discussion which had six attendees from environment-, the technical-, social- and health sectors. After the group discussion, the indicators were further modified with the help of a questionnaire answered by ten municipal employees, mainly from the environmental, technical and social and health sectors. On average, respondents found each indicator useful, five indicators were found to be really useful on average, and three indicators were found to be useless among a couple of respondents. After the survey, 11 indicators were modified and one indicator was removed. The end result was 16 indicators for monitoring adaptation to the urban heat island phenomenon divided into the following themes: social vulnerability, state of environment, infrastructure, green-blue infrastructure, policy actions and communication. The development of indicators does not as such contribute to the development of urban adaptation to a desired level, but it is nevertheless an important step in the process of developing adaptation monitoring in the city of Helsinki. This work provides tools for the city to develop their adaptation monitoring strategy which should be systematic and comparable. If the city wants to develop its adaptation monitoring, it is essential to document decisions and programs to explore sufficient coverage. Decisions and programs should be compared against identified adaptation commitments, targets and needs. As a conclusion, this thesis is important step towards more diverse and effective adaptation monitoring. This thesis takes adaptation monitoring forward, developing ways to put adaptation monitoring into practice.
  • Sellman, Oona (2021)
    Several studies have stated that social media has the potential to promote sustainable lifestyles. The purpose of this master’s thesis was to study the contents made by “eco-influencers” who make video blogs about sustainable lifestyles on YouTube. This thesis investigated what topics eco-influencers' videos deal with and what kind of means of argumentation are used. The theoretical background included research on sustainable lifestyles and consumption as well as the potential role of social media in promoting sustainable lifestyles. The study was conducted as a qualitative study and the video material was collected from YouTube according to criteria defined by the researcher. The channels of 20 influencers were selected for the final data. From each channel 1-2 videos were selected. At the end, a total of 39 videos were selected. The material was selectively transcribed, and that text served as the basis for the data-driven content analysis. The results show that the contents of the videos emphasize sustainable consumption and responsibility, especially individual responsibility. However, the videos had only a little content about the three most important aspects of a sustainable lifestyle: housing, mobility, and food. According to eco-influencers, sustainable lifestyles are closely linked to the concept of well-being. Sustainable consumption was considered a very important aspect of sustainable living. Eco-influencers mainly use their own experience, opinions, and comparison as a means of argumentation in their videos. Often the arguments were not substantiated with many scientific references. The results suggest that eco-influencers perceive complex sustainability themes as important but want to communicate them in a way that even laypeople understand. This will also make it easier for more non-experts to approach the matter and change their lifestyles. Justifying arguments with opinions and personal experiences can be based on the personal, even entertaining, format of the video blog, or on the fact that experiential knowledge or expertise is valued in social media. Based on the contents of the videos examined in this study, it seems unlikely that they would contribute to great lifestyle changes.
  • Koutonen, Heini (2018)
    Globaali väestönkasvu ja lisääntyvä kulutus ovat johtamassa muiden ongelmien ohella luonnonvarojen ehtymiseen ja maa- ja vesiekosysteemien saastumiseen. Eräs tapa ratkaista näitä ongelmia on siirtyä kohti resurssitehokkaampaa kiertotalousperiaatteiden mukaista luonnonvarojen käyttöä. Sekä taloudellisten ohjauskeinojen kautta syntyvät kannustimet että yritysten oma aloitteellisuus ovat keskeisiä kiertotalouden mukaisiin toimintatapoihin siirtyessä. Kokonaisvaltaisen muutoksen edistymistä helpottavat konkreettiset kiertotalouden indikaattorit ja mittaustavat. Ramboll Finland Oy:n ja Luonnonvarakeskuksen luoma alueellinen resurssivirtamalli huomioi kattavasti sekä raha- että materiaalimääräisten resurssien liikkeet tarkastelualueella. Tämän tutkielman tavoitteena on laajentaa kyseistä mallia ottamaan huomioon myös yksittäisen yrityksen näkökulma. Tutkimuksessa noudatettiin konstruktiivista lähestymistapaa, jossa luotiin alueelliseen resurssivirtamalliin uusi ulottuvuus yritystason analyysin muodossa. Keskeisenä menetelmänä käytettiin alueellista ympäristölaajennettua panos-tuotosanalyysiä. Tutkielmassa kehitettiin teoreettinen yritystasolle laajennettu alueellinen resurssivirtamalli, jonka toimintaa testattiin numeerisesti Lapin maakunnan kattavasti käyttäen esimerkkiyrityksenä kuvitteellista paperiteollisuuden yritystä. Muodostettuun malliin kytkettiin kiertotaloutta edistäviä taloudellisia ohjauskeinoja, joita olivat maa-ainesvero, vedenottovero, vedenkäyttövero, sekä arvonlisäverokannan lasku valituilla toimialoilla. Lisäksi tutkittiin yrityksen oma-aloitteista muutosta energianlähteiden käytössä. Mallilla pystyttiin havainnollistamaan, kuinka alueen raha- ja materiaalimääräiset resurssivirrat muuttuvat uuden yrityksen tullessa alueelle. Lisäksi muodostetun mallin avulla pystyttiin tarkastelemaan kiertotaloustoimien vaikutuksia sekä yrityksen että aluetalouden raha- ja materiaalimääräisiin resurssivirtoihin. Tutkielman tulosten mukaan ohjauskeinojen vaikutukset sekä yrityksen että alueen talouteen jäivät varsin pieniksi. Ympäristövaikutusten mallinnuksessa huomattiin, että mallin jatkokehittelyssä tulee tehdä rahamääräisen kokonaistuotannon irtikytkentä ympäristövaikutuksista todenmukaisempien tulosten saamiseksi. Vastaava malli voidaan tutkielmassa käytetyllä menettelyllä muodostaa kuvaamaan haluttua aluetta ja siihen voidaan kytkeä minkä tahansa yrityksen tiedot.