Seminar: Exploring possibilities for Adaptive  Governance of Nordic Rivers

25.9.2018 9:30–17:00
Castrén-sali (ls 11)
Yliopistonkatu 8
96300 Rovaniemi

This seminar focuses on adaptive governance of Nordic river basins. Water resources are  essential for energy and food production as well as for tourism and biodiversity. Some  water uses are complementary, whereas some are rivalling. Especially hydropower  production and land use impacts on water quality have a history of societal tension in  Finland. These tensions are mostly due to a mismatch between historical modes of natural  resources governance and present social ecological needs. This seminar aims to discuss  the ways how to change governance modes to respond to present social ecological needs. 

River basins are complex and dynamic systems with myriad social, ecological and  economic components. In an era of global environmental change, most notably climate  change and biodiversity loss, scientific uncertainty underscores all management and  governance of such systems. Environmental change and uncertainty call for adaptive  governance, which allows new scientific knowledge, new technologies and changing  societal values to be considered in environmental and water management. This in turn  requires interdisciplinary science and institutional, procedural and substantive adaptive  capacity from the law. 

The seminar is organised under the ‘Enhancing Adaptive Capacity for Sustainable Blue  Growth (BlueAdapt)’ project. BlueAdapt develops innovative means for supporting  sustainable blue growth in food production, energy production and tourism. We seek new  societally impactful solutions and alternative development paths for sustainable  transitions in these three sectors. We develop new governance practices and regulatory  approaches that support the resilience of ecological, social and economic systems.  BlueAdapt is funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland.  

Seminar program 


Prof. Jukka Similä (University of Lapland): Welcoming words 
Prof. Anna-Stiina Heiskanen (Finnish Environment Institute): Introduction to the BlueAdapt project (Agora) 
Prof. Barbara Cosens (University of Idaho): Challenges and solutions in regulating river basin management 



Researcher Hannu Huukki (Oulu Business School):  The role of hydropower in the Finnish energy system 
Senior research scientist Aki Mäki-Petäys (Natural Resources Institute Finland):  Impacts of hydropower on river habitats and migratory fish stock  



Research Scientist Seppo Hellsten (Finnish Environment Institute):   Impacts of land use on water resources 
Prof. Niko Soininen (University of Helsinki): Torn by (un)certainty – legal problems in river basin management  
Researcher Panu Kontio (Finnish Environment Institute): Stakeholder  engagement: a solution to improve implementation of watershed management? 



Researcher Panu Orell (Natural Resources Institute Finland):   How to integrate the needs of hydropower and migratory fish 
Prof. Jukka Similä (University of Lapland):   Offsetting as a means to compensate environmental harms  



Panel Discussion: Way forward. Facilitator Mikael Sokero, Seppo Hellsten,   Antti Belinskij, Panu Kontio, Panu Orell, Barbara Cosens 

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