Synthesis on ecosystem services 2012

The thematic call Synthesis on ecosystem services was opened in the autumn 2011. The main objectives of the call were to analyse and clarify the concepts related to ecosystem services, to prepare a policy-relevant synthesis on the usability, valuation and central indicators of ecosystem services, and to test a funding instrument of new kind for senior researcheres at professor level. The funding of 249.900 euros was provided to a research group led by prof. Olli Saastamoinen.

Project presentation


Ecosystem services (ES) is a concept, scientific approach and policy framework. It aims   at a systematic recognition and holistic understanding of  the goods and services (in brief ecosystem services)  made available from or  maintained by nature’s biological systems.  The goal is to integrate  natural and man-made (eco)systems in the ways promoting sustainable development.

The one year (1.5.2012 – 30.4.2013) project funded by Maj and Tor Nessling foundation will provide a synthesis on ecosystem services in Finland. It is conducted by the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) and Pellervo Economic Research Institute, with partners, and  is led by Prof. Olli Saastamoinen from the School of Forest Sciences at UEF.  Workshops and communication are used for wide collaboration with research and expert communities.

The study applies the integrative ES  framework for  forest,  agro-,  peatland and (inland) aquatic ecosystem services. First, it aims at a systematic identification and logical typology of goods and services of these ecosystems. Second focus is to compare methods of economic valuation of ecosystem services in different decision situations and to review the results of economic valuation of ecosystem services in Finland. Thirdly, indicators of ecosystem services are evaluated as well as experiences of  and possibilities for integrative management of ecosystems.     

Ecosystems do not provide their services alone but together with human production and consumption processes. Agro- and forest ecosystem are common examples of that, but all ecosystems interact in many ways with the society.  Therefore, there is a need to consider how the adverse interactions of production processes on other ecosystems could be better reduced by adopting integrative, multi-ecosystem management solutions to maintain the health, multiple productivity and biodiversity of all ecosystems.

Methods of the synthesis study are conceptual analyses, literature reviews, a benchmark surveys- of valuation methods and ecosystem indicators as well as the use of demonstrative interdisciplinary cases as research and communication methods. 

Perhaps more than any other country Finland is dependent on the multitude and sustainability of her ecosystems. The project wish to convey the importance of ecosystem services for the welfare and make it more visible for consumers, citizens and decision makers.

The four ecosystems studied cover 95% of inland area of Finland, a consequent potential of the country’s ecosystem services and together occupy a considerable amount of the inherent cultural mentality and daily life of  the Finns.

Publications of the project

1) Saastamoinen, O., Matero, J., Haltia, E., Horne, P., Kellomäki, S., Kniivilä, M. Arovuori, K. 2013. Concepts and considerations for the synthesis of ecosystem goods and services in Finland. Publications of the University of Eastern Finland. Reports and Studies in Forestry and Natural Sciences. No 10, 108 p. Pdf-versio täältä.

2) Alahuhta, J., Joensuu, I., Matero, J., Vuori, K.-M. Saastamoinen, O. 2013. Freshwater ecosystem services in Finland.Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 16/2013, 35 p., Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). Pdf

3) Kosenius, AK, Haltia E., Horne, P., Kniivilä, M. Saastamoinen, O. 2013. Value of ecosystem services? Examples and experiences of forests, peatlands, agricultural lands, and freshwaters in Finland. PTT Reports 244. Pellervo Economic Research, Helsinki 2013. 100 p. Pdf
4) Kniivilä, M. Arovuori, K. Auvinen, A-P., Vihervaara, P. Haltia, E. Saastamoinen O., ja Sievänen, T. 2013. Miten mitata ekosysteemipalveluita: olemassa olevat indikaattorit ja niiden kehittäminen Suomessa. PTT työpapereita 150. 68s. ISBN 978-952-224-128-3 (pdf), ISSN 1796-4784 (pdf). Pdf-versio täältä.

5)  Kniivilä, M. ja Saastamoinen O. 2013. Markkinat ekosysteemipalveluiden ohjaus-ja edistämiskeinoina. PTT työpapereita 154. 32s.  ISBN 978-952-224-137-5 (pdf), ISSN 1796-4784 (pdf). Pdf

6) Arovuori, K. ja Saastamoinen, O. 2013. Maatalouden ekosysteemipalveluiden luokittelu Suomessa. PTT työpapereita 155. 23s. ISBN 978-952-224-138-2 (pdf), ISSN 1796-4784 (pdf). Pdf

7) The final report: O.Saastamoinen, M.Kniivilä, J. Alahuhta, K. Arovuori, A-K. Kosenius, P. Horne, A. Otsamo M. Vaara, 2014. Yhdistävä luonto: ekosysteemipalvelut Suomessa.Publications of the University of Eastern Finland. Reports and Studies in Forestry and Natural Sciences, pp 2o3. ISBN: 978-952-61-1426-2. Pdf

8) O. Saastamoinen, J. Matero, P. Horne,  M. Kniivilä, E. Haltia, H. Mannerkoski & M. Vaara, 2014. Classification of boreal forest ecosystem goods and services in Finland. Publications of the University of Eastern Finland. Reports and Studies in Forestry and Natural Sciences Number 11, 2014. Pdf