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Article on valuing biodiversity in environmental management - the most downloaded in the Ecological Indicators journal

News 2015-09-23 at 10:02

Researchers from the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and the University of Helsinki have together released an article on valuing biodiversity in environmental management. Titled ‘How to value biodiversity in environmental management?‘ the article is ranked first in the list of the most downloaded articles in the journal of Ecological Indicators in the last 90 days.

The article, published in March 2015, is written in collaboration between SYKE and the Fisheries and Environmental Management Group of the University of Helsinki. The SYKE collaborator, Dr. Laura Uusitalo, acts as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki and in the advisory board of the doctoral dissertation of the first author, Ms. Mirka Laurila-Pant. Additionally, Dr. Uusitalo has contributed to several articles and publications related to marine biology, environmental protection and the Baltic Sea in her role as a researcher. The other contributing authors of the article are Ms. Annukka Lehikoinen and Ms. Riikka Venesjärvi.

Concept of the EBM framework
for sustainable development.

Evaluating a set of methods for quantifying the value of biodiversity, the paper takes a decision-analytic standpoint. It reviews and discusses the alternative aspects of biodiversity valuation by dividing the aspects into three different perspectives, i.e. socio-cultural, economic, and ecological indicator approaches, while integrating all these three aspects of biodiversity into a single framework. The authors also discuss the interplay between these three perspectives and suggest that they are to be integrated into an ecosystem-based management (EBM) framework, which permits all of us to recognize ecological systems as a rich mixture of interactive elements along with their social and economic aspects.

‘I am delighted to hear that our research article emphasizing an integrated approach to valuing biodiversity in the aquatic food webs has been received with such a high interest among readers internationally. It is very rewarding to know that colleagues are interested in our work, and it motivates us in our further work to understand the value and protection of biodiversity,’ says Laura Uusitalo.

The article was conducted as a part of the Academy of Finland’s Research Program on the Sustainable Governance of Aquatic Resources (AKVA), which the University of Helsinki is in charge of, and SYKE is acting as the research partner with its expertise and experience in marine research. Additionally, the work was funded by the MIMIC project (Minimising risks of maritime oil transport by holistic safety strategies) related to the Central Baltic INTERREG IV A Programme 2007-2013 and the TOPCONS project (Transboundary tools for spatial planning and conservation of the Gulf of Finland) within the South-East Finland-Russia ENPI CBC 2007-2013 Programme.

Link to the article:

Article ‘How to value biodiversity in environmental management?‘ was published online in March 2015: doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.02.034.

Further information:

Laura Uusitalo, Senior Research Scientist, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE & Adjunct Professor, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 295 251 719,


Mirka Laurila-Pant

Annukka Lehikoinen

Laura Uusitalo

Riikka Venesjärvi

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