Salla Rantala

Group Manager

Contact information

PhD. (Forest Sciences), Docent (Environmental Policy)

Tel. +358 295 251 257

Finnish Environment Institute (Syke)
Societal change
Just transformation
Latokartanonkaari 11
FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland

@ResearchGate @GoogleScholar

Research and expertise

  • Environmental and natural resource governance, esp. forests
  • Data and knowledge governance
  • Interactive methods and knowledge co-production
  • Sustainability transformations, sustainable development
  • Development cooperation


I have been working as a researcher and expert on environmental governance at the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) since 2014. Previously, I have worked in research and development cooperation in the global South (Eastern and Southern Africa, Central America and South East Asia), focusing on forests, climate change and rural livelihoods. My PhD research concerned the local governance processes and social impacts of forest conservation in Tanzania. Questions of equity and legitimacy in forest and climate governance have also been central to my research, broadly covering the political and institutional dimensions of natural resource governance.

Work at Syke

I currently work as the Manager of the Just Transformation group, part of the Societal Change unit. We analyze how justice plays out in the processes and distribution of impacts of sustainability transformation across scales and sectors, and especially from a global perspective. In 2021-2022, I worked as the Development Manager of the Environmental Policy Centre of Syke, responsible for developing organizational practices related to supporting sustainability transformations, resource mobilization and participation in the management of the centre.

In addition to the justice and equity issues in natural resource governance and sustainability transformation, my research interests include the functioning of science-policy interfaces, and the governance of natural resource data and information in the age of open data and digitalization. The GODICO project (Governing Digital Commons: Governance Frameworks for the Opening and Sharing of Natural Resource Knowledge) addressed the question of how to open data on forests in ways that are legitimate to various stakeholders and effective in terms of facilitating new innovations.  

I also work as an expert in the science-policy interface, nationally and internationally. I am a member of the Intergovenmental and Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the seventh Global Environment Outlook (GEO-7) by UNEP and participated in the Steering Committee for the Future of the GEO. My assignments have included supporting the drafting of the Global Sustainable Development Report 2019, coordinator of a SYKE-Luke review of emerging critical issues in global forest policy, and member of various national coordinating groups and networks. 

Published 2023-01-02 at 2:40, updated 2023-01-23 at 14:12

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