Vulnerability Assessment of ecosystem services for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation (VACCIA)


VACCIA has been selected as the Best LIFE Environment project 2012!

VACCIA  is continuing to have a wide-reaching impact:  Finnish 'Best of' 2012 environment project sets climate agenda - see the article in the LIFENews, 05 July


Nature changes when climate changes, adaptation is essential

Climate change will be one of mankind’s greatest challenges in the years to come. The important resources and services provided by our natural environment, e.g. diverse ecosystems and sufficient good-quality water, are threatened by global warming. The effects will be seen in agriculture, forestry and fishing, in nature tourism and even in land use in and around our major cities. The vulnerability of ecosystem services provided by Finland’s natural resources, and the possibilities for adaptation by human society, are the subject of investigation in the VACCIA project of the European Union Life+ programme, to be realized during the period 2009–2011. Contributors to this extensive project include the Finnish Environment Institute, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the universities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Oulu.

The aims are

  • to gather information about how global warming is changing ecosystem services 
  • to identify means by which society can adapt to changing conditions 
  • to estimate how climate change will affect the transport of airborne pollutants to northern latitudes
  • to convey the information obtained to decision makers and the general public 
  • to support local and regional scale planning and decision making 

Ecosystems react differently in different parts of the country and in varying environments

The effects of climate change on ecosystem services are investigated in diverse environments ranging from large cities (Helsinki, Lahti) and recreational centres (Kuusamo, Sotkamo) to different types of forest, agricultural and watercourse environments from north to south and from inland regions to the coastal zone.

The key components of the VACCIA project are nine geographical areas forming a Finnish Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research Network as part of the Finnish National-level Research Infrastructure. Ecological and environmental research is the main focus in the LTER areas, whereas socioeconomic research is strongly represented in the LTSER areas.

Scientists investigate – their results are used by decision makers and general public

The 13 Actions of VACCIA provide the general public, commercial enterprises and decision makers with literary and internet-based information, seminars and future prediction workshops on adaptation to climate and ecosystem changes with reference to

  • local and regional climate change 
  • altered patterns of transport of airborne pollutants to northern latitudes 
  • changes in forest, agricultural, lake and coastal ecosystems 
  • effects on city environments 
  • altered possibilities for forestry, agriculture, fishing and recreational travel services 
  • the vulnerability of ecosystem services 
  • minimization of regional and local risks due to climate change 
  • adaptation to changing ecosystems 
  • improved generation and dissemination of regional and local scale awareness of climate change


VACCIA brochure 2011: Key results (pdf, 1793 kB)

VACCIA -Laymans Report (pdf, 4240 kB)

FE26en/2011 Ecosystem services and livelihoods - vulnerability and adaptation to a changing climate. VACCIA Synthesis Report

M Forsius, S Anttila, L Arvola, I Bergström, H Hakola, HI Heikkinen, J Helenius, M Hyvärinen, K Jylhä, J Karjalainen, T Keskinen, K Laine, E Nikinmaa, P Peltonen-Sainio, K Rankinen, M Reinikainen, H Setälä, J Vuorenmaa (2013) Impacts and adaptation options of climate change on ecosystem services in Finland: a model based study. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 5:26–40

SY34/2011 Hämeen ympäristö muutoksessa

VACCIA in media (pdf, 120 kB)

VACCIA Mandatory Notice Board (pdf, 508 kB)

All the reports and publications can be found here: Reports and Publications of the VACCIA project

Contact persons

Project leader, prof. Martin Forsius, Finnish Environment Institute, phone: +358 40 740 2364,

Coordinator,  senior research scientist Jussi Vuorenmaa, Finnish Environment Institute, phone: +358 400 148 765,

Published 2013-05-03 at 14:53, updated 2023-05-25 at 16:55