Sustainability issues are a key part of responsible business in the forestry sector. At the moment, climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services, and social impacts of forest use are particularly under discussion. Scientific knowledge has an important role in building practices that deliver sustainable use of forest resources regarding all aspects of sustainability (environmental, socio-cultural, and economic). Scientific information is especially useful when it responds to an identified need for evidence, provides a summary of the best available evidence, and minimizes bias.
The Evidence-Based Forestry in Finland (EBFF) project aims to create research collaboration around questions related to sustainability. Research groups conduct independently systematic reviews (here the term includes systematic maps) on the identified research topics, and in the end, provide a summary of the best available evidence (evidence synthesis) to support decision making. Also, the results can be used to guide future research to fill knowledge gaps.
The aim is to have young researchers, either PhD candidates or post-docs, as lead authors for the reviews. The research group is complemented by (senior) researchers who have technical or subject expertise. Each of the research groups defines the study questions, and writes a preliminary review protocol to conduct a systematic review. After the preliminary protocol is finished, stakeholder consultation will take place to finalise the protocol.
Once the protocol is finalised, the research group conducts the systematic review. The aim is to publish all the systematic reviews and protocols as Open Access to ensure the availability of the findings to anyone.
Metsäteho Oy began the Evidence-Based Forestry in Finland (EBFF) project in October 2017 on the initiative of Sini Savilaakso. The initial research topics arose from discussions of evidence needs related to sustainablity issues with big actors (Metsä Group, Metsähallitus, Metsäteollisuus ry, Stora Enso Oyj, and UPM-Kymmene Oyj) in the Finnish forestry sector. Currently, we are looking for research group members to conduct the systematic reviews and maps. The first evidence syntheses are expected by the end of 2018.
The initial research topics can be found here. The final study questions will be defined by the research groups during the research process.
If you want to be part of the project as a researcher or as a representative of a stakeholder group, please contact Sini Savilaakso.