Environment Symposium 2013

Connecting people and nature – The promise of ecosystem services?

Nessling Foundation organized its seventh Environment Symposium on 3.-4. December 2013. At Hanasaar, Espoo. The Symposium dealt with ecosystem services - especially their usability in decision making, as well as their valuation from several points of view.

Nature and its ecosystems provide services that are essential for our wellbeing. People are dependent on ecosystem services and ecosystems also provide many benefits that enrich our every day life. By better understanding the value of ecosystem services we are able to use them in a more sustainable manner. 

A major aim of our Symposium was to strengthen the general knowledge of ecosystem services especially in Finland. Another aim was to enhance the usability and consideration of ecosystem services in policy making processes. We wished that our comprehensive programme attracts both researchers and decision makers. The Symposium can be considered successful because it widens the awareness of participants and brings new ideas for their work.

The Symposium was divided into two different days. The Minister of the Environment Ville Niinistö gave the opening speech of symposium. In the first day we heard invited presentations of international and domestic ecosystem service experts. In the afternoon, other participants presented their latest findings in a poster session. At the end of the first day we enjoyed a Symposium dinner served in Restaurant Johannes in Hanasaari. The language of the first day was English. 

The second day concentrated on ecosystem services especially in Finland. Invited experts and participants had a chance to discuss and share their experiences in special workshops. The language of the second day was Finnish. 

Symposium was a part of Forum for Environmental Information

Interdisciplinary workshop: Connecting people and nature – The promise of ecosystem services?

Interdisciplinary workshops for PhD students were organised in association with the Symposium. The course (4 ECTS) belongs to doctoral training offered by the University of Helsinki. The course was open to PhD students from all universities, provided that the topics of their doctoral studies were connected to ecosystem services. A certificate on the earned ECTS credits was given to students passing the course. The Nessling Foundation organised the course together with Helsinki University Centre for Environment, HENVI.

Read more detailed course information below.

Interdisciplinary workshop: Connecting people and nature – The promise of ecosystem services? (80129)

Organisers: Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation and Helsinki University Centre for Environment, HENVI. 

Purpose of the Course: Participants will widen and deepen their knowledge concerning ecosystem services. Students will also gain experience on presenting their research, taking part in international scientific discussion, as well as giving and receiving constructive scientific feedback. 

Academic requirements: Participants should be registered as PhD students and their field of study should be connected to ecosystem services. PhD students from all faculties are welcome.

Course specific requirements: Relevance of the student´s research topic to the workshop theme, motivation letter and good knowledge of English.

Teachers and working groups: Participants will be divided up into three working groups depending on their field of research and interest.  The working groups are led by the international speakers of the Symposium.
Group 1: Ecological perspective on ecosystem services, Associate Professor Dolf de Groot.
Group 2: Economic perspective on ecosystem services Professor Nick Hanley. Group 3: Social scientific perspective on ecosystem services, Senior researcher Dr. Roldan Muradian. 

Formal requirements of completion: To successfully complete the course, students must attend the first day of the symposium (3rd December 2013) and write a short summary on the oral presentations. On the workshop day (4th December), students are required to present their research papers (research plans or manuscripts) and to give oral feedback to one of the fellow students. The papers will be sent to the teacher and other students before the symposium and their length must be between 5 and 10 pages. All students will get feedback from the teacher of the group. Students can gain one more ECTS credit by preparing a poster for the poster session of the symposium.

Previous studies: Master's degree. The course is suitable for any phase of doctoral studies.

Language: English

Credits: 4-5 ECTS: The course 4 ECTS, a poster in the symposium 1 extra ECTS.

Course capacity: Approx. 8 students per/ working group (24 students).

Date: 3rd-4th December 2013. Before the course, students are supposed to work both independently and using the e-learning platform Moodle.

Place: Conference Center Hanasaari, Espoo, Hanasaarenranta 5, 02100 Espoo.

Assessment: Pass / Fail

Application: The deadline for registration is 24th September 2013. The accepted students  will be notified by 7th October.

Responsible teachers: University lecturer in environmental studies Janna Pietikäinen and Professor Jari Niemelä. 


Symposium program