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Finnish Environment Institute | Suomen ympäristökeskus | Finlands miljöcentral

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Transboundary tool for spatial planning and conservation of the Gulf of Finland (TOPCONS)

TOPCONS is a Finnish-Russian co-operation project that will develop innovative spatial tools for the regional planning and long-term invocation of the sea areas. These will help the society when striving for the sustainable consolidation of human activities and the marine nature values. The objective of the project is to create methodology and tools to aid in forecasting and mapping the locations of the most diverse and sensitive under-water landscapes, and in the light of this knowledge, to execute planning of the ecosystem-based management.

The project utilizes existing knowledge on the geology, biology and human pressures in the Eastern Gulf of Finland. The datasets will be combined in the GIS-environment. Chosen experimental plots in the field will be mapped and examined thoroughly and the possible correlations between the geological and biological diversity studied. One of the central research questions is, if the location of biologically diverse areas could be predicted based on the observations on the prevailing geological and physical conditions. The likely distribution of the fish nursery areas in relation to the underwater landscapes, as well as the impact of certain human pressures on these are of interest as well. One of the objectives is to produce harmonized and comparable, trans-disciplinary data for the joint use of both Finnish and Russian researchers from the whole area of the Eastern Gulf of Finland.

TOPCONS produces knowledge that can be directly utilized for the planning of sustainable use and the conservation of the seas. During this project, the first version of the spatial planning tool, to be tested by the potential end-users, e.g. decision-makers, designers and researchers, will be created. In the future, this approach can be expanded to cover wider sea areas, by including data on local conditions.

TOPCONS web pages

More information

Senior Research Scientist Kirsi Kostamo Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, firstname.surname@ymparisto.fi

Published 2013-04-09 at 14:04, updated 2013-04-09 at 14:04