CfP: Environmental colloquium 26-27.11

YHYS Autumn Colloquium 2009 “Environmental governance of natural resources, the economy, and consumption” is approaching. The Colloquium will take place at the Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, on the 26th – 27th November 2009.

For more information on the Colloquium theme and programme, please visit the web site:

Please note that the deadline for both registration and paper abstracts is the 8th of November 2009. Abstracts should be sent directly to the workshop coordinators. The registration takes place at:

Updated workshop descriptions are listed as a part of this message.


On behalf of the organisers,
Annukka Berg

Workshop 1: Roles for multiple actors in ecosystem service provision?

The concept of ecosystem services is championed for its capacity to capture the multiple direct and indirect benefits that various actors can derive from natural resources and its potential for making these benefits comparable. In this excitement, however, it remains unclear who are in the position to identify, measure, enhance and derive the benefits. Whilst policy instruments are designed with the promise that they would encourage ecosystem service production, natural resource dependent sectors and actors aim to define ecosystem services around their traditional uses of land and water, timber and wheat. A particularly challenging topic is that of biodiversity conservation.
What benefits does biological diversity contribute to? Does the state, or a similar actor with a public good enhancing mandate identify the difficult-to-transfer ecological benefits of biodiversity and compensate for other users for conserving these, or do other natural resource dependent or interested actors, such as land owners, industries, entrepreneurs, extension service providers, hunters and conservationists develop their definitions for ecosystem services and the benefits they accrue? Could these actors interact and collaborate in new and innovative ways to identify and exchange services?

We invite contributions that:
– Consider the role of one or several public or private sector actors in identifying, measuring or exchanging ecosystem services
– Consider the governance systems and policy instruments aiming at enhancing ecosystem service provision
– Consider the institutional settings that frame the emerging ecosystem service provision ideas and the different actors’ roles

Workshop coordinators:

Workshop 2: Collaborative Environmental Policy Making — Problems and Possibilities

Public participation and stakeholder involvement have become an integral part of environmental planning and policy making. Similarly a research of collaborative process has a well-established place in the family of environmental social sciences. The trend to more collaborative modes of environmental planning is driven by normative considerations of enhancing democratic governance and practical considerations of improving the quality and legitimacy of policy making. Yet it still remains to be seen whether, and to what extent, collaborative environmental management lives up to the expectations. Likewise, the possibilities and ways of social sciences to answer this question need to be explored and sharpened. The workshop will explore the experiences from collaborative planning in different environmental policy contexts, and ask e.g. the following questions: What are the benefits, and possible dangers, from collaborative environmental management, what is the potential for policy learning in the context of collaborative processes and what are the mechanisms of learning, how are collaborative processes structured and facilitated for better and worse, and how do different legal and political institutions as well as ways of organizing participation enable or encumber successful collaboration? Furthermore, we encourage reflexive papers to discuss how to answer the questions?
What methodological choices have been taken and could be taken?

Workshop coordinators:
Heli Saarikoski
Finnish Environmental Institute

Riku Varjopuro
Finnish Environmental Institute

Workshop 3: Responsible citizenship and consumption

The workshop collects together students, scholars and practitioners of the many questions of environment and consumption. It aims to cover broadly the theme of citizenship with particular focus on environment and consumption, and to produce knowledge of the relationships between citizenship, everyday life consumption and lifestyles. As one particular point of entry, the workshop recognizes the recent Finnish policy program on consumption that calls for the inclusion of consumers in promotion of sustainable lifestyles as well as for active participation in environmental action.

The environmental awareness of Finns is high, but consumption in actual practice does not reflect this. Why does knowledge not turn into action?
What kinds of meanings are attached to the notions of responsible citizenship and environmental issues? Does, for example healthy living, and organic and local food, promote the adoption of responsibility and environmental citizenship in everyday life by consumer of different age.

The focus of potential contributions can be on choices in everyday life, on the concepts and conceptualizations of environmentally responsible consumption, and on environmental values, attitudes and lifestyles. The contributions may either be previously published papers, working papers or research plans. Working language is both Finnish and English.

Workshop coordinators:
Leena Haanpää
University of Turku

Mikko Jalas
Organisaatiot ja johtaminen
Helsinki School of Economics

Workshop 4: Global Climate Governance

The YHYS conference will precede with only a week the 15th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen where countries are supposed to agree on actions beyond
2012 when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period expires. The climate governance session will provide a good opportunity for students of environmental governance and those who have been following the negotiations to share their insights and questions around this precarious process of addressing ‘the biggest market failure’ in the world. The key issue is how the different objectives and strategies of the COP15 parties can be aligned to overcome the obstacles for a ratifiable agreement and how (in-)effective the agreement may become in addressing the problem.

Questions worth exploring, and which are frequently heard in the current debate, include whether any agreement is better than a weak agreement, what is the importance of the form the commitments have (legally binding or not, specific emission reductions or not etc.), how the weak compliance mechanisms can be strengthened, how is the financing going to be scaled up and governed, how climate policies can be mainstreamed to different institutional contexts, and what role and shape sectoral approaches may take. But global climate governance is not limited to the UN-based process, there is an increasing literature on the fragmentation in this arena which is also important to explore. Many questions have been raised on the effectiveness and legitimacy of regional or minilateral initiatives such as the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, the G8, the Major Economies Forum, and various multistakeholder partnerships in e.g. the energy sector. Do these platforms offer solutions to the North/South debate which has been a lasting feature in global climate governance since negotiating the UNFCCC? Papers and presentations on all these and related issues around global climate governance are welcome to this panel.

Workshop coordinators:
Antto Vihma
Finland Futures Research Centre
Turku School of Economics

Mikko Rask
National Consumer research Centre

Workshop 5: The social making of safety, security and change in energy provisioning

Energy production and consumption are subjects to anticipated and prescribed changes as well as to development and innovation work.
Furthermore, the stability and change of these systems and the consequences of the changes in them are socio-technical in nature. The decisions about and the practices of the production and consumption of energy are scholarly interesting particularly because of the long time perspective and far-reaching consequences. This workshop focuses on the production, transportation, delivery and use practices of energy, and on the perceptions of lay and expert decision-makers.

The workshop particularly welcomes contributions on following themes:
– path-dependency and path-breaking in energy systems
– social making of risk and safety, and the management of safety in energy provisioning
– the failures and failure management in energy systems
– the regulation practices of energy related risks

Workshop coordinators:
Hannu Hänninen, hannu.hä
Sari Yli-Kauhaluoma,

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