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

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  • Korkman, Nadia (2023)
    Previous research has shown that beef have higher environmental impacts of land use (LU) and global warming potential (GWP) than the legumes, though the production type of beef makes a difference in its environmental impacts. Beef as a protein source produced within High Nature Value (HNV) farming systems has not yet been compared to other protein sources in terms of nutritional and environmental impact. HNV farmland is defined as farmland areas in Europe “where agriculture is a major land use and where that agriculture supports or is associated with, either a high species and habitat diversity or the presence of species of European conservation concern or both” (Andersen et al. 2003). Though beef has higher environmental impacts, it can provide an important nutrient source, especially if the bioavailability (BA) of protein is taken into account. It is known that legumes have lower BA for protein than beef, which means that the beef protein and some nutrients are made more available for the human body. It remains unknown to what degree this could affect the required mass of foods consumed to meet nutrition requirements, which could in turn effect the environmental impacts of food consumption. The aim is to assess if HNV beef and plant-based protein-rich alternatives differ in environmental impacts when BA of proteins is considered. The objectives are i) to compare HNV beef in relation to its nutritional content and environmental impact to three alternative protein sources (red kidney beans, chickpeas, and fava beans) and ii) to assess the difference in environmental impacts when BA of these protein sources is and is not considered. The results showed that taking into account protein BA affects the available nutritional value of the protein and the environmental impacts of HNV beef and the other protein sources. The impacts of GWP and LU are highest for HNV and conventional beef even when the impacts were corrected for BA. This means that the inclusion of beef produced on HNV farmland in a sustainable diet is more environmentally impactful than protein intake from legumes when considering the chosen environmental categories. Future studies should include environmental impacts such as water use, carbon sequestration, biodiversity and also different socio-cultural metrics in order to justly assess HNV farming system and HNV products.
  • Ryöppy, Selja (2022)
    A systemic change in the current modes of production and consumption, a so-called sustainability transition, is required to overcome large-scale society-transforming phenomena such as the climate change. This in turn demands changes in socio-technical systems, i.e., the networks of actors, institutions, technologies, material artefacts, and knowledge creation. In this thesis, the Finnish construction and housing sector is used as a case study, and an example of one socio-technical system. By focusing on the socio aspect of the socio-technical, I analyse how actors who are involved in the current system may inhibit or enable a sustainability transition. I seek to answer the following questions: what the relevant definitions of and foci for climate-wise action are among stakeholders in the sector in Finland; how actor-related barriers manifest themselves; and which actors could enable or speed up the transition. This thesis builds on sustainability transition theories, especially multi-level perspective and strategic niche management, to better understand actor roles and relationships. Based on a literature review, I define three actor-related barriers to transition (misaligned vision and focus, small network, and pro-regime actor resistance) and one potential enabler (intermediaries). These are then applied to the Finnish context. In this thesis, I employed stakeholder analysis as the methodology, interviewing a pre-defined set of 21 stakeholders. The results were analysed using content and social network analyses. The results suggest that although the understanding of climate-wise construction and housing is gaining a more holistic perspective, the three barriers all still manifest in the sector in Finland: all the stakeholders are engaged in energy-related topics, but hold differing foci on household choices, low-carbon materials and circularity; the network amongst actors seems relatively dense and inclusive, but improvement points emerge with closer examination; although results suggest that development has happened in the recent years, industries and incumbents are still considered too slow-moving. The importance of intermediation is also recognised by many but defining and picking potential intermediaries out of the crowd is a complex task. Overall, the sector may be moving forward in the transition, but the stakeholders create and uphold both barriers and opportunities in the process.
  • Aula, Onerva (2022)
    This study aims to understand how cities adapt to environmentally induced hazards, like floods. Extreme floods are interesting firstly, because climate change is predicted to increase flooding in several places globally in the future, and secondly, because even a small risk could be realised in the right conditions. The methods are a case study of flood adaptation in Helsinki, qualitative content analysis, interviews, and a scenario. Land use planning is chosen as the context of the case study, because densification challenges flood preparedness. The material consists of the zoning plan of Helsinki, its flood risk management related appendixes and interviews with city experts. The qualitative content analysis aims to answer the first research question: How does land use planning consider extreme floods in Helsinki? The scenario, in turn, aims to answer the second research question: In what ways might an extreme flood challenge the current land use planning in Helsinki? The interviews are mainly used to support the other methods. The results lead to one main argument, for which I present several justifications. The argument is that the flood risk management and land use planning in Helsinki, the urban structure of which is densifying, do not sufficiently consider the risk related to extreme floods, even though climate change is increasing the likelihood of such. In the end, I present some policy recommendations to change this.
  • Hynynen, Outi (2022)
    A common understanding of partnership goals is widely acknowledged to be one of the most crucial factors of a partnership project’s success. This thesis examines a partnership between the city of Espoo and five company partners and looks for processes and conditions that support a common understanding of the project goals. The aim is to support future sustainability-partnerships by giving managers concrete tools for facilitating goal-alignment by answering the research question “how did the partners accept and adapt to a common sustainability goal?” The data consists of interviews conducted with the project employees from both the city and the private entities, the project contract and web communications published by the partners. The data was analyzed using theme categories derived from the literature, seeking to first find the answer of whether the official partnership goal was adopted an accepted by the partners, and then comparing those observations to the experiences that partners had had working in the collaboration. It seems that the project goal was adopted and accepted in this case, and based on the findings five key mechanisms for how that was achieved and what future managers can therefore consider were recognized: 1) the organizational goals of the partner organizations were sufficiently compatible with the partnership goal, 2) the partnership goal was broad enough to leave room for later adjustments, 3) the partners were further divided into smaller sub-tasks with supporting sub-goals, 4) there was a lot of mandatory group-work and 5) all of the above-mentioned features were taken into account already in the design-phase of the partnership, and programmed into the day-to-day activities of the collaboration.
  • Tammisto, Eveliina (2022)
    The climate crisis is such major environmental threat that it has negative impacts on both nature and people. Recently, the effects of climate change on people’s mental health have also been noticed. Children and adolescents are especially vulnerable group in terms of climate anxiety. The amount of climate anxiety among youth has been found to be increasing, yet the studies on it are still scarce. It is important to find out how much climate anxiety there is among youth and does it influence their behavior. The objective of this master’s thesis is to find out how much climate anxiety there is and is climate anxiety interconnected with the pro-environmental behavior among youth. Also, its aim is to find out whether attending the climate course affects the amount of climate anxiety. In addition, the study focuses on whether gender, home country and parental education level are interconnected with the amount of climate anxiety. This study was conducted as part of the D.Game project which includes a climate course for youth aged 12–18 years. Data for this research was collected through a survey during the climate course. The schools and students participating in the D.Game climate course and the climate anxiety survey were selected through an open recruitment during autumn of 2021. The data consists of 48 students who responded to the pre survey and of 13 students who responded to the post survey. The participants were 15–17 years old. On the contrary to other research, there is not much climate anxiety among youth. There is also a strong positive correlation between climate anxiety and pro-environmental behavior, which differs from other research. On the other hand, there were no significant differences in climate anxiety between the groups divided by divided by gender, home country and parental education level, which was expected result. Based on the data, the climate course did not have statistically significant effect on the amount of climate anxiety among youth. Also, there is need for further research. Larger sample could provide more valid results. The causality of the correlation between climate anxiety and pro-environmental behavior would be interesting to resolve. Whether attending to a climate course affects the amount of climate anxiety could be found out by development of climate courses and comparing different courses.
  • Huttunen, Marika (2023)
    Climate change impacts can substantially vary between regions, which requires regional decision-making on how to best moderate the adverse effects and seek potential benefits. However, actors can experience multiple barriers during climate change adaptation decision-making, which need to be overcome to enable more efficient and successful regional adaptation processes. This thesis aims to increase the knowledge on how actors can approach overcoming barriers to adaptation in a regional and cross-sectoral climate change adaptation decision-making process. A qualitative case study is conducted, which focuses on inspecting a regional climate change adaptation pilot project in the Finnish region of Pirkanmaa. Various regional and local actors participated to and collaborated on the project. The study constitutes of 11 expert interviews that are subjected to directed qualitative content analysis. The thesis utilises an analytical framework which leans on institutional theory and incorporates concepts from actor-centred institutionalism and empirical literature on barriers to and opportunities for adaptation, adaptive capacity, and adaptation decision-making processes. With the use of this framework, this thesis answers the research question of: What are the perceptions, preferences, and capabilities of the involved key actors regarding the regional climate change adaptation decision-making process in Pirkanmaa, Finland? This thesis discovers that the actors perceive mainly informational and institutional barriers to impede the decision-making process, in particular the understanding phase. Nevertheless, many of the barriers can be tackled during the process with both informational and institutional opportunities, in addition to social opportunities through the improvement of networks. The actors also have several preferences with regard to how the barriers should be overcome. Such preferences include clarifying the actors’ roles and responsibilities at the start of the understanding phase of decision-making, as well as ideas yet to be tested, such as unifying regional utilisation of adaptation-related data. The study does not manage to provide conclusive answers on the initial capabilities of the actors. Still, clear indications could be detected pertaining to the increase in elements of adaptive capacity, such as information, institutions, and skills, following from the numerous opportunities that the actors experienced. The explorative and descriptive results of this thesis bring new perspectives and an empirical contribution into the field of overcoming barriers to adaptation by focusing on climate change adaptation decision-making at the Finnish regional level. These findings can be used as a basis for upcoming research, but they can also be applied by various actors in designing current and upcoming climate change adaptation decision-making processes.
  • Sihvonen, Ida (2023)
    Research has identified the importance of understanding the connection between heat wave risk perception of elderly and their adaptation actions. In addition, developing more tailormade risk communication to elderly has been emphasized. The aim of this study is to understand how elderly citizens in the district of Töölö, Helsinki perceive the risk and adapt to increasing heat waves in a central part of the city and what the role of early warning systems (EWS) could be by collecting information through interviews on heat wave adaptation and risk communication. The qualitative data (N=6) consisted of transcribed interview data collected during February- March 2023. The data was analyzed through a thematic analysis and through using both a deductive and an inductive process, main themes and subthemes were identified within the data. The theory used in the deductive process was the Protection Motivation Theory in order to test if the theory could be used in this context. The results show that the personal risk perception and general risk perception varies for elderly and adaptive actions are in general taken to protect oneself from heat waves. However, Töölö as a high exposure area does not clearly increase the amount of adaptation actions but can rather offer benefits through its geographical position by the sea. The elderly’s interest in improving heat wave risk communication through an early warning system in Finland is noticeable. However, the final role of the system still remains open, and skepticism was expressed about the real need of a system in Finland. The results highlight that the elderly’s personal risk perception is rather independent of their adaptation actions, and they still adapt to heat waves, even when they perceive the threat as low. The results also highlighted that the elderly use multiple information sources to follow updates on heat waves, but the ideal risk communication media needs to be determined to develop an early warning system according to the needs of vulnerable risk groups such as elderly.
  • Anna, Leppänen (2023)
    Climate change and temperature rise in the Arctic is resulting in a decrease in sea ice extent and changes in sea ice variability. The impact of climate change on sea ice variability can be better understood when studying past events of climate change and sea ice extent change. Past environmental change can be reconstructed using bioindicators such as chrysophyte cysts, siliceous resting stages of chrysophyte algae. Archaeomonas spp., a genus of chrysophyte cyst, is often found preserved in Marginal Ice Zone sediments in the Arctic and its relationship with sea ice extent is explored here, to further understand its potential as a sea ice proxy. Diatom slides from three cores in the North Atlantic (Melville Bay, the North Water Polynya and Placentia Bay) were used to evaluate relationships between Archaeomonas spp. and known sea ice diatom species like Fragilariopsis reginae-jahniae. The Melville Bay core spans the last 8000 years, the North Water Polynya core spans the last 4000 years, and the Placentia Bay core spans the last 5800 years, providing a broad account of Archaeomonas spp. and diatom species abundances over the Holocene. It was concluded that Archaeomonas spp. was not directly correlated with known sea ice diatom species like F. reginae-jahniae at any of the three study sites. Archaeomonas spp. did display some similar relationships with cold water species like Thalassiosira hyalina, Thalassiothrix longissima, Thalassiosira nordenskioeldii and Fragilariopsis oceanica, and pack ice species like Actinocyclus curvatulus and Melosira arctica. Archaeomonas spp. can form in a range of conditions but prefers colder conditions where sea ice may form or drift to, as opposed to warmer, open water conditions. However, it is not directly linked to sea ice. Further research should focus on understanding whether Archaeomonas spp. forms in sea ice or not. There were some suggestions made to identifying Archaeomonas spp. at species level, but further research should be conducted on Archaeomonas spp.’s morphology to advance identification.
  • Annala, Heidi (2023)
    Luontopohjaiset ratkaisut (NBS, Nature-based solutions) ovat tietoisesti suunniteltuja ratkaisuja komplekseihin haasteisiin, ja niiden ytimessä ovat ”luonnon” elementit, kuten valikoidut mikrobit ja kasvillisuus. Nämä elementit ovat luontopohjaisen ratkaisun ytimessä, ja näin tekevät NBS:stä usein ekologisesti kestävämmän vaihtoehdon perinteisille teknisille maisemaratkaisuille. Suuri osa olemassaolevasta kirjallisuudesta on siten keskittynyt NBS:n ekologiseen ulottuvuuteen huolimatta niiden sisäsyntyisestä moniulotteisuudesta. Sosiaaliset elementit ovat kuitenkin paitsi olennainen osa NBS:n suunnittelua ja toimintaa, myös niiden pitkän tähtäimen onnistumisen edellytys. Aiempi tutkimus on osoittanut, että luontopohjaisten ratkaisujen menestys riippuu ennen kaikkea niiden paikallisen yhteisön saavuttamasta yhteydestä ja omistajuudesta. Näiden suhteiden muodostuminen tapahtuu usealla tasolla, mukaan lukien psykologisella ja asuinaluetasolla. Siksi tämä tutkimus tarkastelee luontopohjaisiin ratkaisuihin yhdistettäviä merkityksiä ja näkemyksiä paikallisen, karttapohjaisen, audio-visuaalisen kyselyn kautta. Vastauksista nousee esiin kaksi primääristä huomiota: Ensiksi, aineistosta on mahdollista erottaa NBS- ja äänimaailmamieltymysten, sekä avointen paikan merkitysten pohdintojen kautta vähintään kaksi paikallista arkkityyppiä, jotka lähestyvät luontopohjaisia ratkaisuja uniikeilla tavoilla. Toiseksi, erot näiden arkkityyppien reaktioissa paikallisiin luontopohjaisiin ratkaisuihinsa voivat selittyä osin luontosuhteen ja paikallishistorian kautta. Nämä löydöt korostavat yhtäältä olemassaolevan henkilökohtaiseen psykologiseen ulottuvuuteen keskittyvän NBS-tutkimuksen merkitystä, ja toisaalta paikallisen ja yhteisötason ymmärrystä kokonaisen
  • Arola, Terhi (2023)
    Ecosystem accounting is a new framework for integrating the value of nature into decision-making. Previous measures of natural capital accounting have not been able to achieve policy relevancy and have only limited use cases. It is important to look into the usability of ecosystem accounting, to ensure that it is implemented in a way that supports decision-making. The goal of my research is to provide a categorization of barriers and enablers of use, as well as provide some insight into how to make ecosystem accounting usable for decision-making. There is only limited literature on ecosystem accounting, so I conducted a scoping literature review on barriers and enablers of use of natural capital accounting to look into the issues and opportunities in making ecosystem accounting usable. I complemented this literature review with interviews of ecosystem accounting experts from Norway and Germany. Both countries have started the implementation journey and thus provide a view into the active development phase. My main results are the categorization of barriers and enablers of use of ecosystem accounting, as well as main messages for creating usable accounts. I categorized the barriers and enablers into 12 categories under three themes of political, structural and relevancy related barriers and enablers. The categories can be used when planning implementation to identify potential issues and to plan accounts to be as usable as possible. I have three main messages for compiling usable ecosystem accounts. First, sufficient resources are essential in gathering comprehensive accounts. Second, compiling the accounts rely on cooperation of multiple institutions, thus there is a need to agree on forms of coordination. Third, the categories of barriers and enablers are interconnected, and thus there are positive feedback loops that can support making ecosystem accounts usable for policymaking.
  • Repetti, Sonja I. (2022)
    My master’s thesis aims to determine the effect of salinity on phytoplankton traits related to nutrient acquisition, and particularly how this interacts with resource availability. Salinity is an important driver structuring phytoplankton communities in the Baltic Sea. Salinity can also influence nutrient uptake by increasing metabolic rates required for osmotic adjustment. Thus, interaction between salinity and nutrient availability is expected to change community structure by altering phytoplankton traits determining resource competition. This is a particularly relevant area of study for the Baltic Sea due to predicted future freshening of the sea’s upper layer. We performed a microcosm experiment using artificial communities of 10 diverse phytoplankton species grown under different combinations of salinity (0, 5, 12 and 24), Nitrogen to Phosphorus molar ratio (N:P ratio = 2, 10, 16 and 80) and light (10 and 130 µmol photon m-2 s-1) conditions. A three-way interaction among these environmental parameters influenced phytoplankton traits associated with resource competition, as well as the presence and proportions of phytoplankton taxa. Light limitation inhibited community growth under all salinity conditions, but allowed diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum to dominate. Community growth rate was higher under high light, but also more variable between salinity conditions. The strongest negative effects of nutrient limitation (N, P, and both nutrients together), both on growth rate and taxonomic diversity, were observed in the highest salinity treatment. In the freshwater treatment with the highest proportion of green algae Monoraphidium sp., N-limitation did not inhibit phytoplankton community growth and P-limitation had a more profound negative effect on community performance. Decreasing salinity appeared to decrease community C:N and C:P ratios. This shift is in opposition to the increasing C:N and C:P predicted as a consequence of other climate change-related drivers. Our results emphasise the importance of a trade-off between salinity and resource limitation in functioning of phytoplankton communities and suggest that future freshening of the Baltic Sea is likely to modify phytoplankton community composition and performance.
  • Nurmesniemi, Miia (2023)
    The shallow bays and inlets of the coastal Baltic Sea consist of a patchy seafloor with different sediment types that are affected by anthropogenic pressure, such as organic matter loading. Benthic macrofauna affects the carbon and nutrient stock capacity of such coastal areas by storing these elements in their body tissues and thus working as a temporary carbon and nutrient pool. These nutrient stocks are especially stable when the animals are large and long-lived. Fluctuations in organic input have been suggested to modify the diversity, abundance, and biomass of the benthic communities and therefore affect the nutrient reserves bound within the fauna. However, there is little information on how stress, in form of increasing sediment organic matter content, change the stocks and stoichiometric ratios of benthic macrofaunal communities. This thesis investigates if the changes in sediment organic matter affect benthic community composition and organism size and its ability to function as a carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) pool by measuring: 1) how the benthic faunal diversity, abundance, and biomass composition and 2) the C:N:P content and ratios of the benthic fauna change between three different sediment categories. A significant difference was found between sandy and muddy sediments in terms of benthic biomass and abundance, as well as the carbon and phosphorus stocks. Large long-living bivalves were found in sandy sediments, but overall organism size was not significantly different between the sediment categories. In general, the results show that higher sediment organic matter content resulted in fewer individuals, biomass, and thus a smaller storage capacity of carbon and nutrients. No statistical differences were found between the C:N and N:P and C:P ratios along the three sediment types. However, somewhat more P was bound within the fauna at sites with more organic matter, compared to the sandy and mixed sediments. The results highlight the importance of macrofauna in the functional performance of the ecosystem function and their potential for shifts with increasing disturbance. In conclusion, the increase in sediment organic matter can significantly change the capacity of macrofaunal communities to bind carbon and nutrients and this might have implications for the coastal nutrient filter. More research regarding the fauna's ability to adapt to the changing environment is needed.
  • Lahti, Arttu (2022)
    The need to develop and expand urban areas is increasing in most countries, but urbanization also increases the threat for global biodiversity. Some cities have acknowledged this challenge and formed strategies and action plans for biodiversity preservation. How can we ensure that such strategies are realized in city planning? Negotiations are a crucial part of urban planning, and therefore can be a leverage point of intervention to effectively implement strategies to pro-tect biodiversity. However, little is known about the dynamics of the actual negotiation process in city planning. I applied a game theoretic approach to study how information availability influences the suc-cess and efficiency of negotiations. A role-playing game was used to simulate a negotiation on specific measures to preserve biodiversity in a residential building project. Eleven urban devel-opment specialists played the game with different sets of information. In addition to the direct outcomes of the negotiation, I analysed the post hoc discussion and arguments used to gain in-sights into perceptions of biodiversity-related negotiations in urban planning. Results indicate that information availability can increase the efficiency of negotiations. Partici-pants favour principled and integrative negotiation, but incomplete information seems to push them to take a more positional stance. The post hoc discussion also reveals some issues rele-vant to the design of urban planning process for biodiversity. The overall results suggest that a simple game-theoretic framework, implemented in (a) game-like simulation with quasi-experimental control and (b) qualitative analysis of discussions, holds potential for both under-standing (i) how decision makers frame and resolve the negotiation with conflicting interests and (ii) how to design efficient administrative processes taking into account not only the partic-ipants’ preferences but also wider public interests, such as biodiversity preservation.
  • Kolari, Tiia (2022)
    Biodiversity is essential for human wellbeing and activities as it supports a diverse set of ecosystem services. Currently, biodiversity is rapidly declining. Biodiversity loss is the second significant global risk after climate change. To reduce environmental stress, there is a need to find sustainable alternatives to unsustainable raw materials and consumables. The chemical industry has an important role in developing environmentally friendly solutions such as bio- based products and solutions, which require utilization of biomass. However, extraction of bio- based raw materials creates more pressure on biodiversity and contributes to biodiversity loss. It is essential that companies who extract natural resources are transparent about their actions concerning biodiversity. By adequately sharing information in corporate reports, companies can enhance their legitimacy. This thesis contributes to scientific discussion on biodiversity reporting which is researched to a limited extent. Material of the thesis was collected from corporate reports and interviews with globally operating chemical companies. By using qualitative content analysis, this thesis describes how chemical companies report on biodiversity as part of their corporate reporting to maintain their legitimacy and how biodiversity is perceived within the chemical industry. Biodiversity is a complex concept and intangible system, which cannot be sufficiently measured yet. This may help to explain why biodiversity reporting within the chemical industry is varying and inconsistent. There is a need to improve companies’ understanding on biodiversity to enhance biodiversity reporting. Adequate reporting can help to understand complex natural processes, enhance environmental protection, and reduce the problem of greenwashing.
  • Pudas, Hannele Maria (2023)
    Tässä työssä tutkin, minkälaiset käyttäytymistä määrittävät tekijät koetaan esteiksi biojätteen lajittelulle sekä mitkä ihmisryhmät lajittelevat biojätteensä passiivisemmin kuin toiset HSY:n alueella. Analysoin tutkielmassani kyselytutkimusaineistoa klusterianalyysin avulla, jonka perusteella etsin mahdollisia lajittelua estäviä tekijöitä ja tarkastelen vastaajien demografisten tekijöiden jakaumaa passiivisten ja aktiivisten lajittelijoiden joukoissa. Lisäksi hyödynnän ympäristöpsykologian teorioita ja tutkimusta ympäristömyönteiseen käyttäytymiseen kannustamisesta. Tätä teoriataustaa ja tuloksiani soveltamalla ehdotan mahdollisia interventioita, joiden avulla voidaan tehostaa kotitalouksien biojätteen lajittelua pääkaupunkiseudulla ja Kirkkonummella. Biojätteen lajittelu kotitalouksissa on tärkeää, sillä lajitellulla voidaan lisätä jätteiden hyötykäyttöä, mikä edistää kiertotaloutta Suomessa. Biojäte on erityisen tärkeä jätelaji kierrättää, koska kompostoinnin ja mädätyksen avulla siitä saadaan lopputuotteina uusiutuvaa biokaasua, josta tuotetaan energiaa sähkönä yhteiskunnan tarpeeseen, sekä ravinnerikasta multaa, jota voidaan hyödyntää maanviljelyssä ja viherrakentamisessa keinolannoitteiden korvaajana. Kotitalouksissa syntyvä orgaaninen jäte sisältää runsaasti typpeä, joten biojätteen lajittelu edistää myös ekologisesti kestävää typen kiertoa. Analysoin työssäni HSY:n kuluttajakäyttäytymiskyselyn vastauksia monimenetelmällisesti hyödyntämällä kvantitatiivista klusterianalyysia sekä kvalitatiivista teema-analyysia. Tulosteni perusteella havaitaan, että passiivisten lajittelijoiden vastauksissa korostuu lajittelun vaivalloisuus, tiedonpuute sekä paikalliset deklaratiiviset normit käyttäytymistä rajoittavina tekijöinä. Lajitteluesteiden tunnistaminen ja kuvaileminen auttaa arvioimaan mahdollisia käyttäytymismuutostekniikoita, joilla kannustaa asukkaita lajittelemaan biojätteensä paremmin. Tuloksistani voidaan päätellä, että proseduraalisen tiedon saaminen, lajittelun ympäristövaikutuksista oppiminen sekä lajittelun helpottaminen voivat kannustaa asukkaita lajittelemaan biojätteensä huolellisemmin. Löydösten perusteella voidaan kohdentaa viestinnässä ja kampanjoinnissa käytettäviä tekniikoita, jolloin niillä voidaan tehokkaammin kannustaa ympäristömyönteiseen käyttäytymiseen ja saadaan HSY:n alueen lajitteluaste nousemaan biojätteen osalta.
  • Lardot, Sofia (2023)
    The anthropause following the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 was followed by a heavy decline in people’s mobility and outdoor activities, which has had differing effects on biodiversity in urban areas. In Finland, outdoor activities were allowed, and as a result, the use of greenspaces increased notably in relation to pre-pandemic times. My objective was to study how people’s outdoor activities developed during the pandemic in the form of recreational bird-watching in the Helsinki metropolitan area (including Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen). To accomplish this, I retrieved data on the number of bird observers from Tiira (a Finnish bird information service focused on bird observations), and related this data to the pandemic periods, also taking into account variables such as daily temperature and the use of parks. I found the highest number of bird-watchers during both lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. I also found that the number of bird-watchers was significantly higher after all restrictions were lifted, in 2022, when contrasted with pre-pandemic times. It is notable that the lockdowns happened at the same time as the bird Spring migration, a naturally popular time among bird-watchers. Thus, I consider that this may have had a synergistic role in people taking the opportunity to dedicate more time for bird-watching since they had more time to go outside due to strict restrictions. After all the restrictions were lifted in 2022, some bird-watchers continued to spend more time in bird-watching due to habit or increased appreciation for the activity or outdoors. The findings highlight the importance and potential of citizen science in observing birds and enabling more efficient conservation efforts for them. The results showing the development of bird-watching activities during the pandemic could also potentially be used as a proxy for other outdoor activities, and combined with other studies on the relations of COVID-19 on humans and other species could help to better understand the complex socio-ecological relationships in cities and greenspaces.
  • Hagman, Alli (2023)
    The aim of this study was to identify which bird impact types are considered significant in practice in Finnish environmental assessment reports regarding wind power. Increasing numbers of wind turbines can impact birds directly and indirectly, which could contribute to the loss of bird diversity. Amid climate change mitigation attempts, biodiversity loss should not be overlooked. Environmental impact assessment is an example of a policy tool for identifying and reducing the negative environmental effects of a project, including bird impacts. All wind power-related EIA reports with significant bird impacts were collected from the joint website of Finland’s environmental administration and analyzed with the help of qualitative content analysis. The 18 cases were divided according to the types of impacts found in the literature. Although all four impact types including collisions, displacement due to disturbance, barrier effect, and habitat change were considered significant in the EIAs, collisions were the most frequent. Very little comparable data about the significance of different impact types were found. However, collisions were the most researched impact type, which could have also contributed to the evaluation of its significance. The results corresponded to previous literature for the most part as Accipitriformes (diurnal birds of prey excluding falcons), according to several studies, are more vulnerable to the impacts of wind turbines. They were estimated to face significant impacts more often compared to other bird orders present in the materials. The reasonings between the cases were quite similar, despite the ambiguity of the significance assessment. In the cases where the reason for significance was stated, the level of protection of the species was the most common. The results also support the argument about how the impact type, the object of the impact, and the significance of an impact vary depending on the locations. The findings of this thesis suggest that scientific data is used at least partially in significance assessments. The results are useful in future research, developing EIA practices, and enhancing bird protection. Looking at significant impacts is relevant also in the future as the assessment of significance is not uncomplicated.
  • Holopainen, Sini (2022)
    During the time of ecological crisis, it is important to find new approaches on how to produce welfare within planetary and ecological boundaries. Besides focusing on technical and societal changes I state in this thesis that there is a need for focus on human’s spiritual side to solve wide sustainability issues. Immaterial welfare is highlighted with people who are practicing spirituality, in this case meditation with Buddhist background. Enhancing immaterial welfare is important in the world in which overconsumption is dwindling biodiversity and planetary resources. In this master’s thesis I discuss how acknowledging peoples’ inner worlds is an essential part of holistic sustainability transition towards sustainable welfare and society. According to previous research spiritual practices such as meditation and mindfulness can support sustainable behaviour in many ways. People practicing meditation with Buddhist background try to live in a way that reduces their own suffering and suffering of living beings around them. When living in a mindful state it may be easier to make daily choices that are aligning with one’s values. Those who practice meditation may feel stronger connection to nature which can foster ecological behaviour. In this thesis I conducted nine interviews with nine meditation practitioners who are regularly practicing meditation with Buddhist background. I focused on their lifestyle that takes environmental aspects into account and how do they perceive that the meditation practice helps them to live in sustainable way. Central questions in the interviews included connectedness to nature, values and adapting and reacting to ecological crisis. I analysed the interviews using content-guiding theory analysis reflecting previous research. Meditation itself does not transform one to become more environmentally friendly but it can for example help to live by own values. Buddhist philosophy and spiritual lessons based in Buddhism play important roles in the meditation practices of the people I interviewed. Those lessons can motivate them to act respectfully towards all kinds of living beings and reduce their suffering. The people in this study live out environmentally friendly lifestyle in multiple ways. The interviewees highlighted many immaterial factors in their wellbeing from relationships to being in silence. In addition, spiritual practice can support them with difficult emotions that can arise from the news about the environment and climate. Altogether the sustainability science could benefit from considering human’s spiritual sides and the lost connection to self and the surrounding world.
  • Huttunen, Johanna (2022)
    Bumblebees are important pollinators globally and especially in Fennoscandia, yet they are declining. The amount of natural vegetation in cities is decreasing with urbanisation. Hence suitable habitats for urban bumblebees are diminishing. Brownfields can be important habitats for bumblebees in cities because they resemble natural habitats. I studied bumblebee communities in urban brownfields. My main aims were to evaluate how local and landscape scale environmental factors affect the suitability of a brownfield to be a habitat for bumblebees. I also evaluated whether certain bumblebee functional traits are filtered in the brownfields. I expected that especially local characteristics and primarily the amount of flowering plant cover and the size of a site would affect bumblebee richness and abundance. I also expected the bumblebee communities to be characterised by generalist feeders. I collected bumblebees using line tracking in 15 brownfield sites in the city of Lahti and sampled bumblebees six times during the summer of 2020. The share of ground cover types within each site was estimated, as well as the share of different habitat types within a 300 m buffer zone around the sites. The data were used to analyse which local and landscape characteristics affect bumblebee community composition, species richness, and abundance in a brownfield site. Trait analyses were used to test the relationship between bumblebee traits and environmental factors. I showed that bumblebee abundance and richness were affected by local site characteristics but not landscape-scale factors. However, community composition was associated with landscape characteristics, including forest and commercial or industrial areas. Unexpectedly, the size of a brownfield site did not affect community composition, richness, or abundance. Functional traits were filtered in brownfield sites, especially the prevalence of a short proboscis, which is linked to a generalist diet in these bees. Brownfield sites are rich in bumblebees. Brownfields are suitable habitats for bumblebees regardless of the scale of urbanisation, and even small sites can host a diversity of bumblebees. As the amount of natural habitat in urban areas is decreasing, brownfields should be considered important habitats for bumblebees and other pollinators in urban planning.
  • Liljebäck, Petra (2023)
    Climate change severely threatens ecosystem services and human well-being: vegetation and soils underneath it can be particularly vulnerable to climate warming. Soils hold the largest carbon stock in terrestrial ecosystems, and urban park soils, especially in cool climates, can hold remarkable carbon stocks and may be able to offset some atmospheric CO2 emissions. Land use changes, such as urbanization, influence soil organic carbon formation and soil carbon storages. In this study, I was interested whether three vegetation types (deciduous trees, conifers and lawn) differ in their capacity to store C in their rhizosphere, and whether this is affected by park size. I measured the proportion of tree canopy layer in class A park areas of the city of Helsinki, to estimate soil C storages of these areas and to examine C density (kg C m-2). Proportions of tree canopy layers in different park size groups were measured using QGIS and ortographs. Soil C storages were calculated using existing soil C data and average proportions of conifer and deciduous trees in parks of the city of Helsinki. Park size had a significant effect on proportion of the tree canopy coverage: canopy cover decreases with an increase in park size. Especially large parks are dominated by lawn. The average soil C densities in small, medium and large parks were 23.98 kg C m-2, 23.47 kg C m-2 and 23.15 kg C m-2, respectively. However, the overall proportion of conifer canopy in parks of the city of Helsinki is rather small, resulting in small differences in C densities between different park size categories, despite significant differences in tree canopy coverage between the three size groups. Most of the stored soil C in parks of the city of Helsinki are under lawn, even though it is the least efficient of the three studied vegetation types (deciduous trees, conifers, lawn) in soil C sequestration. Within a park size category and at park level, large parks store the highest amount of carbon per park. Even so, at the city level, the total amount of carbon is highest in the small parks due to their high number. Conifer trees associate with improved C sequestration to soils compared to deciduous trees and lawn. Increasing the amount of conifer trees in urban parks thus likely increase the important C storages of these soils. Results of this study highlight the importance of the contribution of urban parks and especially conifer trees in carbon sequestration. Future research related to urban soil C sequestration and the effects of vegetation type and climatic conditions is needed to better understand soil C accumulation and how the C sequestration of urban park soils could be enhanced.