The research programme's main objective was to find scientific, social, economic and technological solutions to help intervene in the process of global change or adapt to the ongoing changes. This objective was pursued by studying global change, its underlying causes and impacts at different times and in different regions and by analysing and predicting the environmental and socio-economic mimpacts of global change. The programme was expected to generate useful information for both national and international decision-making.
The purpose was to complement international research in issues that are particularly relevant to Finland in terms of their impacts or planning implications: these include questions concerning northern, Arctic and boreal issues, Finnish technological know-how and global change questions relating to developing countries.
The programme had two overlapping theme areas: In the component concerned with the causes and effects of global change, the purpose was to explore the natural processes and human activities that lie behind global changes, to analyse the changes taking place in ecosystems and societies and to predict the socio-economic impacts of the changes. The main research themes included the study of atmospheric aerosols and ozone, the fitting together of climate history and climate forecasts, changes in ice caps, the permafrost and oceanic ice caused by climate change, changes in land use in developing countries, the circulation of carbon in ecosystems and changes in the flora.
In the component concerned with prevention, control and adaptation, the purpose was to look into ways in which to minimise man-made global change, to find ways in which societies can adapt to the ongoing changes and to assess the impacts of different methods and strategies of adaptation. Key research themes included the juridical implementation and economic implications of climate conventions, the impacts of globalisation on human rights, the pressures of change in agriculture and forestry, as well as global changes in northern areas.
The causes and consequences of natural and man-made global changes constitute a highly complex web of interactive relationships. These were studied in the programme from the vantagepoint of both the natural sciences and the social sciences.
The programme comprised 36 projects involving some 100 researchers in the following organisations: the University of Helsinki, Helsinki School of Eco-nomics and Business Administration, Geological Survey of Finland, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Forest Re-search Institute, Environmental administration, the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy ETLA and the Agricultural Research Centre of Finland.
The programme had a budget of EUR 6.7 million. Funding from the Academy of Finland amounted to EUR 4.2 million. Funding was also provided by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of the Environment.
Coordination The research programme was coordinated by coordinator Jukka Käyhkö, Department of Geography, University of Turku