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Description of the VACCIA-project

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The first major project of the FinLTSER-network started 1.1.2009 with funding from the LIFE+ instrument of the EU. The VACCIA-project (Vulnerability assessment of ecosystem services for climate change impacts and adaptation) has a total budget of  3.12 milj. €  (50 % EU-funding) and will run for three years (2009-2011).

Objectives of the VACCIA-project

Climate change provides a major challenge for the sustainable management of key ecosystem goods and services (e.g. biodiversity, forest/agricultural production, water resources/quality). Despite increasing efforts to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, results from global circulation models show that major changes in the current climate cannot be avoided and hence sector-specific adaptation measures are needed. These adaptation measures have to be based on the understanding of (i) the likelihood of change, (ii) vulnerability of the specific sectors to the predicted change, and (iii) knowledge about the local-scale possibilities for adaptation.

There is thus the need for developing the methodology and tools for connecting the global/regional scale climate/global change scenarios to the local/regional scale where the realistic adaptation measures are planned and conducted. Authorities and stakeholders acting at the different scales need to have the information for understanding and planning the necessary adaptation measures provided in a format suitable for use and decision-making.     

The project is based on data from intensively studied sites/sub-regions of the FinLTSER-network. The sites have a wealth of existing information, and are closely integrated into the local-scale economy and activities. This provides the link to the scale where realistic adaptation measures can be planned and assessed.

The project will thus provide both detailed descriptions about the methodology and tools for making climate impacts and adaptation assessments, as well as an inventory of realistic adaptation measures for key ecosystem goods and services. This methodology and information can be used by stakeholders at local, regional, national and international scales. The project will also contribute directly to the development of existing/planned national and international policies and networks in this field.

Key partners

  • Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) (coordination)
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI))
  • University of Helsinki
  • University of Jyväskylä
  • University of Oulu

Specific objectives

  • Derive realistic site/region-specific climate change scenarios which include the current under-standing about uncertainty in the predictions. This will allow probability based vulnerability assessments to be made.
  • Provide satellite data based GMES services (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) for the climate change impacts and adaptation studies.
  • Demonstrate the use of climate change –sensitive land cover information (including snow and phenology) in climate change studies. 
  • Develop tools for climate change impacts and adaptation data management and modelling (GIS-based platforms, computer programs).
  • Make vulnerability assessment of selected main ecosystem services/sectors (biodiversity, forest and agricultural production, carbon sequestration, water resources and quality, fishery production, nature-based tourism, land use) to the impacts of climate change, using high-quality site-specific data and expertise of the FinLTSER network.
  • Derive critical impacts thresholds for the environmental impacts to be used for designing policy targets and adaptation measures for climate change, and developing environmental legislation.
  • Make an inventory of possible adaptation measures to climate change together with the local/regional administration and stakeholders, using the derived sector-specific vulnerability assessments and critical thresholds.
  • Disseminate knowledge to the local administration and stakeholders (natural parks, communities, producers), national administration and stakeholders, and international bodies and networks concerning:
    • Derivation of impact scenarios and methods/tools for vulnerability assessment
    • Climate change impacts and critical environmental thresholds
    • Sector-specific adaptation measures to the adverse impacts of climate change.
  • Contribute to the development of the European (Green Paper and Second European Climate Change Programme) and national (Finnish Adaptation Strategy) policies for climate change adaptation.
  • Contribute to the development of existing and planned international networks for climate/global change impacts and adaptation (EU, Arctic Council, UNEP), by providing documented methodology and results on impacts and adaptation for ecosystem goods and services.

Actions involved:

  • Management and monitoring of project activities
  • Derivation of land-use data using GMES-based products
  • Derivation of climate change and pollution transport scenarios for impacts and adaptation studies of the ecosystem goods and services
  • Assessment of climate change vulnerability and adaptation measures for
    • biodiversity
    • forest production and carbon sequestration
    • agricultural production
    • water quality and resources
    • fisheries production
    • nature-based tourism
    • land-use in natural and urban environments
  • Synthesis and dissemination of project results

Expected results

  • Derivation of climate change scenarios for impacts and vulnerability assessments (database)
  • Demonstration of the use satellite data based GMES-services for climate change impacts and adaptation studies (maps, databases
  • Calibration and validation of GMES services of SYKE
  • Derivation of site databases for impacts and vulnerability assessment
  • Data analyses and modelling tools for vulnerability assessment of key ecosystem goods and services (reports, articles, GIS-based platforms, modelling tools)
  • Derivation of critical thresholds for environmental change, showing sensitivities to predicted climate change and possibilities for adaptation (reports, articles).
  • Inventories of adaptation measures together with local and regional stakeholders (reports)
  • Dissemination material (web-pages, brochures, reports)
  • Stakeholder workshops at local/regional and national scales
  • Assistance in the development of national adaptation policies and strategies through the Steering Group of the national adaptation programme and established national adaptation networks.
  • Contribution to the development of national environmental legislation, e.g. by disseminating knowledge to develop Environmental Impact Assessment regulations.
  • Contribution to the development of European policies (European Climate Change Programme II) for climate change adaptation by providing tools, data and examples on climate impacts and adaptation measures.
  • Contribution to the development of international networks for climate/global change impacts assessment:
    • - European LTER-network
    • - International LTER-network
    • - International Integrated Monitoring programme
    • - SAON (Sustained Arctic Observing Networks)
    • - Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW)
    • - “Global Climate Change Adaptation Network" currently planned by UNEP in cooperation with the international LTER-network

Contact persons

Project leader, prof. Martin Forsius, Finnish Environment Institute, phone: +358 40 740 2364, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi

Coordinator, senior research scientist Jussi Vuorenmaa, Finnish Environment Institute, phone: +358 400 148 765, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi

Published 2013-05-05 at 15:27, updated 2013-05-06 at 13:22