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VACCIA Action 7: Assessment of impacts and adaptation measures for agricultural production

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This action aims to demonstrate how climate change may affect agricultural production and environment, including impacts on productivity of farming, choice of crops and production methods, impacts on nutrient loading to the waterways, and on biological diversity, associated ecosystem services, and the farming landscape. The action aims, in a participatory manner with the stakeholders, to bring state-of-the-art results and simulation model scenarios of these impacts at reach of layman, public servants, private entrepreneurs, and politicians at local municipal scale. The idea here is empowerment, through scientific knowledge, of the stakeholders for bottom-up action to mitigate and adapt to the change.

The case demonstration area Lepsämänjoki agroecosystem is a medium-sized agricultural watershed with a broad and flat drainage area of 213 km². It is shared by three neighbouring municipalities (communes) in Southern Finland, 30 km to the north of Helsinki. The area belongs to the southern boreal zone, and is ecologically as well as socio-culturally representative of an agroecological zone reaching across Fenno-Scandia.

Methods employed

An implementation group of experts and local stakeholders will review the available up to date scientific literature (in Finland alone, e.g. FINSKEN and FINADAPT project reports) of scenarios for, and adaptation to climate change in circum boreal agricultural sector. This review will result in first set or dissemination material in an electronic and in a printed leaflet format facilitating the participatory development process.

The local stakeholders to be involved include:

  • Farmers' representatives
  • Non-farmer inhabitants’ representatives (representing non-governmental local organizations such as village associations, with a wide screening for all parties expressing interest)
  • Municipal / regional administration's representatives (esp. agricultural admin. and extension, environmental, land use planning officials). At national level, representatives from the ministries of agriculture and forestry, and environment, as well as national NGOs will be invited to contribute to national and transnational relevance.

Expected results

The action results in a web-based platform in Finnish and in English for demonstrating and learning about warming impacts on the agro-ecosystem at local municipal level. This platform will consist of easy-access graphical and interactive tools for layman study of climate change in boreal agriculture and agricultural land use, its impacts in the respective warming scenario as predicted by up-to-date research, and to learn about measures to adapt and to mitigate, and how the various measures may interact and produce variable economic and environmental outcomes. It will explain the critical scientific assumptions and modelling approaches on which the interactive tools are based, in order to facilitate use of the platform for informed citizenship and decision making. Specific attention is given to access of schools to use of the platform and associated data for learning purposes.

The research data base brings together the historical and present statistical and research data available and constantly being accumulating from the case area. The action will result in an integrated and updated multidisciplinary, both socio-economic as well as environmental, science based overview in the web-page and in a booklet, on critical thresholds, impacts, and adaptation to warming in boreal agricultural sector.

Contact person

Juha Helenius, University of Helsinki, firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi

Published 2013-05-06 at 11:59, updated 2013-05-06 at 11:59