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Sanna-Riikka Saarela

Kuva Sanna-Riikka Saarela


Group lead, researcher

Environmental Policy Centre, System transformation group

FM (environmental change and policy)

Email: first name.last name @ ymparisto.fi

Mobile: +358 295 251 587     

Skype: sanna-riikka.saarela




I work as a group lead for SYKE's 'System transformation' group. The group carries out research on sustainable system transformation and socio-technical transitions. In the various projects we analyse environmental policies and legislation as well as innovation and assess their potential and means to support system transformation.

In research projects I carry out research on multi-directional and dynamic knowledge exchange processes and practices in environmental governance, management and planning on different governance levels. Besides research I work in multidisciplinary teams that carry out policy evaluation and impact assessment for practical applications on local, regional and state level in Finland and in the EU related to nature conservation, climate and energy as well as land use planning policies. In addition, I have project management duties.

Research and expertise

  • impact assessment and policy evaluation
  • collaborative knowledge exchange
  • stakeholder engagement and collaboration
  • event organisation and facilitation
  • qualitative research
  • project coordination and management

Some projects and networks


Collaborative remedies for fragmented societes - FAcilitatin the collaborative turn in environmental decision making (CORE)

Better Processes and Outcomes - Improving Knowledge Exchange in regional level governance of biodiversity and ecosystem services (BRO)

EEA Eionet National Reference Center for Forward Looking Information and Scenarios (FLIS)


Potential and Pitfalls of Alternative Approaches to Ecosystem Service Valuation (ValuES)

Operationalisation of ecosystem services and Natural Capital (OpenNESS)

Europe's ecosystem research network (ALTER-Net)

Linking Impact Assessment Instruments to Sustainability Expertise (LIAISE) (EU FP7, 2009 – 2014)

Some publications

Saarikoski, Heli, Eeva Primmer, Sanna-Riikka Saarela ym. Institutional challenges in putting ecosystem services knowledge in practice. Ecosystem services (in press).

Saarela, Sanna-Riikka, and Janne Rinne.  2016.  "Knowledge Brokering and Boundary Work for Ecosystem Service Indicators. An Urban Case Study in Finland."  Ecological indicators 61, Part 1: 49-62.

Saarela, Sanna-Riikka, and Tarja Söderman.  2015.  "The Challenge of Knowledge Exchange in National Policy Impact Assessment – a Case of Finnish Climate Policy."  Environmental Science & Policy 54: 340-48.

Saarela, Sanna-Riikka, Tarja Söderman, and Jari Lyytimäki.  2015.  "Knowledge Brokerage Context Factors – What Matters in Knowledge Exchange in Impact Assessment?".  Environmental Science & Policy 51: 325-37.

Turnpenny, J, Jordan, A., Adelle, C., Bartke, S., Bournaris, T., Kautto, P., Kuittinen, H., Larsen, L.E., Moulogianni, C., Saarela, S-R., Weiland, S: The use of policy formulation tools in the venue of policy appraisal: patterns and underlying motivations. In: Jordan, A. & Turnpenny, J. (eds.)(2015): The Tools of Policy Formulation: Actors, Capacities, Venues and Effects : New Horizons in Public Policy Series. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing. P. 184-204.

Niemelä, J, Saarela, S-R, Söderman, T, Kopperoinen, L, Yli-Pelkonen, V, Väre, S, Kotze, D.J: Using the ecosystem services approach for better planning and conservation of urban green spaces: a Finland case study. Biodiversity and Conservation 01/2010; 19(11):3225-3243.

Söderman, T, Saarela S-R: Biodiversity in strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of municipal spatial plans in Finland. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 01/2010; 28(2):117-133.


Published 2017-08-16 at 11:57, updated 2020-06-15 at 9:33