13.12.2017

Bioresource research secures natural resources for future generations

Finland is on its way to a low-carbon, resource-efficient society and sustainable economy, and aspires to be a pioneer in bio- and circular economy. The objective is to maintain or even make the scopes for action better for future generations by taking human, the environment, and the economy into account in concrete actions and decision-making. Worldwide, serious challenges facing the humankind and the environment require research-based solutions to both control the consumption of natural resources and to make it more efficient. Issues concerning the sufficiency of natural resources, the growth in need for energy and production of food, climate change, chemicalisation affecting health, and availability of fresh water all need to be solved. “The problems and technical solutions are mostly natural scientific, but mere understanding of matters and discovering the solutions is not enough: in order to achieve global and societal change, strong societal and social scientific investment is needed as well”, Professor of Environmental Sciences Jussi Kukkonen explains.

Sustainability and management of using natural resources

The ecological sustainability of using natural resources requires planning their utilisation so that negative ecological effects can be minimised. Research on preventing and repairing harmful environmental effects is needed as well. Bioeconomy plays an important role in achieving the objective. The Sustainability Science Center, which is being founded at the University of Jyväskylä, is a high quality research unit that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration, enhances diverse education in sustainable development and bio- and circular economy, creates collaboration between researchers and organisations and offers various forms of support for policy-makers. The centre aims to strengthen knowledge about sustainable development in the long term, and its idea is to serve the society’s acute need for knowledge as well as the economy.

A multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approach

Transition into the realm of genuine sustainable development requires economic, social and cultural changes in the structures of the society. The centre gathers know-how and research resources from the fields of natural sciences, humanistic sciences and different disciplines of economics and social sciences. The objective is to form a strong and internationally visible unit that produces information about guiding the use of natural resources towards a genuine sustainability that lasts over generations, simultaneously offering an inviting environment for internationally high quality research and education.