Day 4 (10th August 2015) of the Helsinki Summer School, Viikki campus “Management of sustainable Forest land scape” started on time. We were glad we had had the field trip the week before because now that we had to get into “substance”, it was nice to have in the back of our minds more knowledge of the Finnish landscape as well as of our class-mates personal “landscapes” (countries of origin, of residence, personalities, etc.)
Markku, before commencing the lectures interacted with participants, explaining some basic things like how to stop a bus in Helsinki (wave at them!) or if water could be drunk directly from the tap (yes!). He also asked a few questions on how they spent their weekends. In response, some participants confirmed their visit to a cultural event organised by the Helsinki Summer School around the city center (with 2 Mölkky champions from our Forest Group!) while others said they took the opportunity to relax and visit the city.
The lecture on Ecosystem services and climate change, by Prof. Markku Kanninen, started with the basic definitions of ecosystem services, and several examples with pictures. Participants made some observations and questions pertaining the presentation.
The second presentation on Biodiversity functioning as a foundation for Ecosystem services was done by Irina Herzon. During her presentation she tried to provoke participants with more questions such as if a list of necessary vis á vis redundant species was useful.
During lunchtime, some of us continued discussing some “definitional” issues, such as what is and what is not science. Some indicating that “Western/modern” science tends to neglect indigenous knowledge. We also discussed how global markets have an impact on the effectiveness of sustainable development efforts at the national or local level, particularly in developing countries. Some regretted not having enough time for discussion or interactions with lecturers or classmates during their presentations.
Eshetu Yirdaw presented the topic Agroforestry and Biodiversity. In his presentation, the majority of the examples were on Africa: Tanzania, Cameroon, Ethopia, etc. Perhaps because he is more familiar with the region, but also because ICRAF (World Agroforestry), which is the world leading research institute on Agroforestry has its headquarter in Nairobi Kenya. However, the topic is relevant for every region. The lecture was interactive, more time was allocated for observations and questions from participants.
The session ended with a presentation by Saska Lohi the coordinator of our Summer School. Participants were introduced to the group work and they found out who their group mates were. Groups will have to work on different landscapes and thematic areas. Checklists were provided for each group to better organise themselves for an effective and efficient group work.
We also had a Sierra Leone proposal for adopting and officialising a “Summer School clap” (see video!). After intensive training and knowledge transfer (South-North, South-South), the class-room managed to dominate the clap (some better than others!).
It was a nice day and we look forward to the rest of the programme!
Cinthia & Edward