Viikki Tropical Resources Institute
Dpt of Forest Sciences
P.O. Box 27
FI-00014 University of Helsinki
Tel. +358 9 1911
Fax +358 9 191 58100
Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI)
The Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI) that forms part of the Department of Forest Sciences provides academic training and carries out research on forests and related natural resources in tropical and developing countries. VITRI staff also undertakes national and international assignments related to tropical forest management as well as environmental and forest policy.
Guest lecturer from the University of Khartoum.
Dr Dafaalla Mohamed from the University of Khartoum will give a lecture on: "Socioeconomic characteristics of acquisition and consumption of household biomass energy: a case study of Sinnar state, Sudan.
Venue: Room K171, B-building
Time: Tuesday 14 May, 14:30
You are all very warmly welcome!
Helsinki Summer School 2013 - Designing sustainable forest landscape: ecosystem services for the future, August 6 to 22.
VITRI-coordinated course - Designing sustainable forest landscape: ecosystem services for the future - course will take place August 6 to 22 at Viikki campus and Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station.
HENVI Science Days 2013: Can Forest Management Change the Climate?
HENVI Science Days 2013 will take place Tuesday - Wednesday 16th -17th April in the Main Building of the University of Helsinki (Fabianinkatu 33).
The Science days aim to present the latest knowledge on forest-climate research and at the same time enhances the science-policy interface and support dialogue between science and society. The event will gather together researchers, students, authorities, politicians and representatives of the business sector to try to find answers to the main question: Can forest management change the climate? More information in the HENVI webpages (link).
Guest lecture by Dr. Andrew Wardell from CIFOR , Thursday 07 March 2013.
Dr. Adrew Wardell is the director of Forests and Governance of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). He has over thirty years of experience working on natural resource management issues in South-East Asia and in Sub-Saharan African countries. Prior to taking up this position he was Regional Director for the Clinton Climate Initiative-Forestry in the Asia-Pacific region supporting the development of seven REDD+ projects in Indonesia and Cambodia.
The title of his lecture is: "Multi-level governance of forests"
When: Thursday, March 7, 14-16
Where:University of Helsinki, Viikki Campus, Lecture Hall B5
Doctoral thesis defence on governance and social outcomes in forest conservation in northeastern Tanzania, Friday 08 March 2013.
M.Sc. Salla Rantala will defend his doctoral thesis "The winding road from exclusion to ownership: Governance and social outcomes in contemporary forest conservation in
northeastern Tanzania" in Auditorium XII, at the Main Building of the University of
Helsinki (Unioninkatu 34) on Friday 8 March 2013, at 12 o'clock noon.
The Opponent is Prof. Andrew Wardell (Center for International Forestry Research, CIFOR) and the custos is Prof. Markku Kanninen,. The thesis is published electronically in E-thesis and freely available as hard copy from VITRI. All are warmly welcome to join the doctoral defence.
Guest lecture by Dr. Daniel Murdiyarso from CIFOR , Thursday 21 February 2013.
Dr. Murdiyarso is currently holding a position as Senior Scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Professor at the Department of Geophysics and Meteorology, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Indonesia. The titile of his lecture is: "REDD+ in Indonesia: can it compete with oil palm?"
Dr. Murdiyarso's research work is related to land-use change and biogeochemical cycles, climate change mitigation and adaptation. He has published a large number of articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters on these topics. He has served as Technical Adviser for the World Bank on the development of BioCarbon Fund and Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). His work with the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winning IPCC is related with his roles as the Convening Lead Author of the IPCC Third Assessment Report 2001, the IPCC Special Report on Land-use, Land-use Change and Forestry 2002, and the Review Editor of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report 2007.
When: Thursday, February 21, 14-16
Where: University of Helsinki, Viikki Campus, Lecture Hall B5
Intensive two days training on nursery operations (5-6 February)
Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), Department of Forest Sciences organised an intensive two days training on nursery operations. The programme focused on:
- Seeds procurement: methods of seed collection, time of seed collection, seeds extraction and cleaning, seeds treatment.
- Nursery establishment and management: selection of nursery site, nursery layout, containers types and size, potting mixture and soil substrate, sowing, cultural practices and tending, age of transplanting and post planting care.
Pictures and comments about the training activity can be found on VITRI's Fecebook page
Doctoral thesis defence on greenhouse gas emissions and water balance in Sudanese savannah woodlands, Friday 22 February 2013.
M.Sc. Syed Ashraful Alam will defend his doctoral thesis "Carbon stocks, greenhouse gas emissions and water balance of Sudanese savannah woodlands in relation to climate change" at the Walter Hall, Viikki EE-Building (Agnes Sjöbergin Katu 2) on Friday 22 February 2013 at 12:00.
The Opponent is Prof. Daniel Murdiyarso (Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia) and Custos Prof. Markku Kanninen. The thesis is published electronically in E-thesis and freely available as hard copy from VITRI. All are warmly welcome to join the doctoral defence.
VITRI coordinated another field course in SE Asia 7-25 January 2013
VITRI recently coordinated the field course “TROP210: Forest Landscape Rehabilitation and Ecosystem Services in the Mekong River Basin”. A total of 13 students from Finland, five from Lao PDR and one from Thailand joined the course under the supervision of Prof. Markku Kanninen, Prof. emer. Olavi Luukkanen and MSc Adrián Monge Monge. In addition, Ms Gunilla Holmberg and MSc Dipjoy Chakma (currently working in Lao PDR) actively collaborated during the course.
The course was organised in cooperation with the Faculty of Forestry at Kasetsart University (Thailand), the Faculty of Forestry at the National University of Laos (Lao PDR) and the Center for People and Forest (RECOFTC). The local NGO, Land Issues Working Group -LIWG-, the Sustainable Forestry and Rural Development Project (SUFORD), the StoraEnso’s reforestation project in Lao PDR, and the regional FAO office in Bangkok also collaborated with the course.
The course included lectures by local experts in both Thailand and Laos, three days field work in Sangthong district (Lao PDR) as well as field visits in Northern Thailand. Pictures about the course can be found on VITRI's Fecebook page
VITRI coordinated an intensive course in Ethiopia on 4-15 June 2012
The ESUFI Forest project which is funded by the CIMO North-South-South programme held an intensive course entitled 'Planted trees and forests for livelihoods and ecosystem services' in Wondo Genet, Ethiopia, on 4-15 June, 2012.
VITRI was th e coordinator of the intensive course. Totally, there were 22 course participants who came from the University of Helsinki, University of Khartoum (Sudan), Upper Nile University (South Sudan) and the Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources (Ethiopia). A total of eight resource persons who came from the four project partner institutions partook in the course.
The staff members from the University of Helsinki who participated in teaching were Prof. Markku Kanninen, Dr Mike Starr and Dr Eshetu Yirdaw. In addition to class room teachings the two-week long course also included field work and group work presentation by students. The field work included inventory of the vegetation in the natural forest, plantations and homegardens as well as interviews of all the stakeholders.
More pictures can be found on VITRI's Fecebook page
Professor Olavi Luukkanen farewell lecture
Professor Olavi Luukkanen (first VITRI Director) will present his farewell lecture at the Viikki campus on 25 May.
After Professor Lukkanen's lecture we will have a second lecture by special guest Dr. Tony Simons, Director
General of ICRAF.
Day: 25 May.
Venue: Viikki campus (UH), Latokartanonkaari 7, lecture room B5
13:15 Prof. Olavi Luukkanen lecture
14:15 Dr. Tony Simons lecture
15:15 Coffee/tea and cake
No registration required. Please arrive punctually.
COST Action ES 1104 "Arid Lands Restoration and Combat of Desertification"
VITRI is now officially confirmed as part of the COST Action ES 1104 "Arid Lands Restoration and Combat of Desertification: Setting Up a Drylands and Desert Restoration Hub". This is very great opportunity for VITRI members to cooperate with and among high EU expert institutions working in the field of dryland ecological restoration and desertification. Prof. Markku Kanninen, VITRI Director was appointed as a member of the management committee for the Action
For more information, please visit: http://www.cost.eu/domains_actions/essem/Actions/ES1104
VITRI Brifing by Dr. Andrew Wardell (CIFOR): “REDD+ and FLEGT – early lessons from the field” –
Dr. Adrew Wardell, Director of Forests and Governance at CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research) will give a guest lecture at the Viikki Tropical Resources Institute.
Title: “REDD+ and FLEGT – early lessons from the field”
Time: Monday 12 March at 10:00 (please observe time!)
Venue: Lecture Hall B6, Viikki Campus (Latokartanonkaari 7)
VITRI Guest Lecture by Dr. Andrew Wardell (CIFOR): Globalizations in a nutshell - The Shea Nut trade in northern Ghana -
Dr. Adrew Wardell, Director of Forests and Governance at CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research) will give a guest lecture at the Viikki Tropical Resources Institute; dept. of Forest Sciences.
Title: “Globalizations in a nutshell – The Shea Nut trade in northern Ghana”
Time: Tuesday 13 March at 12:15
Venue: Lecture Hall B5, Viikki Campus (Latokartanonkaari 7)
13.02.2012 [Change of lecture room for lecture!]
Doctoral thesis defence on microcredits in Lao PDR, Thursday 23 February 2012 & Guest Lecture on REDD, Wednesday 22 February 2012
M.Sc. Marjo Paavola will defend her doctoral thesis "The impact of village development funds on community welfare in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic" in Auditorium XII of the University Main Building (Unioninkatu 34) on Thursday 23 February 2012 at 12 h. The Opponent is Prof. Arild Angelsen (Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås) and Custos Prof. Olavi Luukkanen. The thesis is published electronically in E-thesis and freely available as hard copy from VITRI.
Prof. Arild Angelsen will also give a guest lecture at the Dept. of Forest Sciences in Viikki (Latokartanonkaari 7), on Wednesday 22 February at 15:00 (pls. observe time!), in
room K-171; lecture room B-5, the title is "The evolution of REDD - where are we heading?
Prof. Markku Kanninen elected new Chair of UniPID Board
VITRI Director Prof. Markku Kanninen has been elected the new Chair of the Board of the Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID), for the period 2012-2014. He succeeds Prof. Olavi Luukkanen in this position. For more about UniPID, see http://www.unipid.fi/
Field study opportunities in Sudan and Ethiopia
The ESUFI project, which is funded by the CIMO N-S-S programme, announces the availability of funding for four students for field studies in Sudan and Ethiopia. The funding of mobility of students among partner institutions is one of the main activities of the ESUFI Forest project. The funding covers the necessary travel, accommodation, and subsistence costs for three months. Priority will be given for VITRI students
The deadline for submission of the application is 15th of February, 2012. Applicants should fill in the application form and send it to the indicated address. Here you can download the announcement and the application form.
Finnish Ministry of the Environment nominated the members for the National Climate Panel
The Finnish Ministry of the Environment just nominated the 13 members for the National Climate Panel. The University of Helsinki has 4 representatives including Prof. Markku Kanninen (VITRI Director) and Prof. Markku Ollikainen, both of them from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.
The panel will function as advisory unit for Ministry in issues related to national and international climate policy as well as climate science. Additional information [suomeksi]
Guest lecture on Biogeography and doctoral thesis defense
Dr. Kimberly E. Medley, Professor at the Department of Geography, Miami University,Oxford, Ohio will give a guest lecture titled “Biogeographical Patterns of Diversity for Collaborative Conservation Planning at Mt. Kasigau, Kenya” on Thursday 24th November 2011 from 14:15-16:00, at Viikki campus, in auditorium 2, C-building, address: Latokartanonkaari 5.
Hosts: Professor Petri Pellikka and the North-South Teaching & Research Network.
On Friday 25th November Dr. Medley will act as the opponent at Nina Himberg´s doctoral thesis defense at 12:00, at University Main Building, auditorium XV.
Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director for Sudan and South Sudan visited ICRAF
Maailmanpankin Sudanin ja Etelä-Sudanin aluetoimiston uusi johtaja Bella Bird
(2.oikealta) tutustumassa VITRI:n toimintaan ICRAF:issa. Muut kuvassa (vasemmalta):
ICRAF:in tutkija Daniel Ofori, Olavi Luukkanen, ICRAF:in varapääjohtaja prof. August Temu sekä VITRI:n juuri kenttätyöstä Etelä-Sudanista palannut tutkija Loice Omoro. Kuva: Sherry Odeyo/ICRAF.
The new World Bank Country Director for Sudan and South Sudan, Bella Bird (2nd from right), on a visit to ICRAF for gaining information on VITRI activities in those countries. Others in picture (from left): ICRAF Researcher Daniel Ofori, Olavi Luukkanen, ICRAF Deputy Director General Prof. August Temu and VITRI researcher Loice Omoro. Photo: Sherry Odeyo/ICRAF
VITRI Eastern Africa Office established at ICRAF, Nairobi
Olavi Luukkanen has in October moved to Nairobi, where the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has offered him facilities to take care of his duties as Professor of Tropical Silviculture. This arrangement, planned to continue until April 2012, will greatly help VITRI in the management of ongoing research and development projects now carried out in such countries as South Sudan, Sudan and Ethiopia.
At the same time, ICRAF will benefit from having a “VITRI Eastern Africa Office” at its Headquarters, since new openings are now underway to establish a stronger ICRAF presence in those very countries. For ICRAF, VITRI projects will offer a convenient channel for new research and development activities.
Read more (suomeksi/in Finnish)
Call for papers: ETFRN News 53 - Enhancing forest related governance for development-
The European Tropical Forest Research Network is kindly inviting you to submit a short article (maximum 3,000 words) for the next "ETFRN News" on your experiences with forest governance. This may be an excellent opportunity to showcase your work and to contribute to the discussion on how to improve forest governance. More information at ETFRN website
Tree genomics and ecophysiology seminar by Chinese researchers visiting VITRI
Four scientists from the Chengdu Institute of Biology (CIB) under the Chinese Academy of
Sciences are visiting VITRI during October-November. They include Prof. Chunyang Li,
Assoc. Prof. Yuanbin Zhang and doctoral students Mr Hao Jiang and Ms Yongpin Li.
Mr Jiang and Ms Li will report on their research at the Plant Ecology Research Seminars
led by Prof. Heikki Hänninen, on Thursday 20 October from 14:15-16 h in Biocenter 3, 6th
floor, room 6602
Transcriptional profiling analysis in Populus yunnanensis provides insights into the
molecular mechanisms of sexual differences in plant salinity tolerance.
Adaptive responses of Abies faxoniana populations from contrasting elevations when
exposed to CO2 enrichment with nitrogen application.
Field study opportunities in Zimbabwe (VITRI-ZAOSOR project)
The ZAOSOR (Zimbabwe Aids Orphans Society-Reforestation) project, which is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, announces the availability of funding for two M.Sc. students for field studies in Zimbabwe. The funding covers the necessary travel and subsistence costs for three months. The potential field study topics are: forest plantations and agroforestry. VITRI is a partner in the ZAOSOR project and priority will be given for VITRI students.
Here you can download the announcement and the application form.
13.4.2011New net publication: Afrikan Sarvi – Afrikas Horn – Horn of Africa
At the international seminar “Environment and human livelihoods in the Horn of Africa”,
co-organised by VITRI and the Finnish Somalia-Network in Viikki on 12 April 2011, a new
net journal “Afrikan Sarvi – Afrikas Horn – Horn of Africa” was launched. It is published
by the Finnish Somalia-Network and its editorial board includes Mohamed Elfadl from
VITRI. Contributions in the form of scientific or general-audience articles, as well as
reports from ongoing activities in the region are invited. – The first issue contains
articles in English and Finnish related to the seminar theme written by VITRI staff and
associates, including the following:
Suomeksi (article in Finnish): Olavi Luukkanen: Maankäytön vaihtoehdot Afrikan sarven
alueella – mitä voidaan oppia kokemuksista Sudanissa?
Doctoral thesis defence on forest governance and climate change adaptation in Africa on Friday 29 April 2011
M.Sc. Fobissie Kalame will defend his doctoral thesis "Forest governance and climate change adaptation: Case studies of four African countries" in Auditorium XIII of the University Main Building (Unioninkatu 34) on Friday 29 April 2011 at 12 o’clock noon. The Opponent is Prof. Risto Seppälä from the Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA); Professor Markku Kanninen will act as Custos.
Hard copies of the whole thesis are available free of charge from VITRI. The summary part
of the publication is also downloadable from E-thesis.
International HORN OF AFRICA SEMINAR IN Viikki 12 April 2011
An international seminar "Environment and human livelihoods in the Horn of Africa" will be held on Tuesday 12 April 2011 from 13.00-18.00 in Viikki Biocenter 2, room 2041 (Viikinkaari 5). The organisers are the Finnish Somalia-Network and the Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI). The programme includes opening remarks by MP Pekka Haavisto and presentations by invited speakers. For more information see www.somaliaverkosto.fi
Registrations for participation should be submitted by Friday 1 April by sending your
name, affiliation and contact information to email@example.com
Guest lecture on agroforestry and Jatropha cultivation in India, on Thursday 24 March 2011
Dr Dina N. Tewari, President of Utthan Centre for Sustainable Development, in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India, will give a guest lecture titled "Agroforestry and land reclamation practices for livelihood support in India, with special emphasis on Jatropha cultivation", on Thursday 24 March 2011 from 14:15-16 h in room B3 of Viikki A House, address Latokartanonkaari 9.
All are welcome!
Dr Tewari is also the former director of forestry research in India. On Friday 25 March
he will function as the ex officio opponent at Kurt Walter's doctoral thesis defence (see
For further information, contact olavi.luukkanen (at) helsinki.fi
Doctoral thesis defence on sacredness of trees and an alien tree species in India, on Friday 25 March 2011
M.Sc. Kurt Walter will defend his doctoral thesis "Prosopis, an Alien among the Sacred Trees of South India" in Auditorium XII of the University Main Building (Unioninkatu 34) on Friday 25 March 2011 at 12 o’clock noon. The opponent is Dr Dina N. Tewari, President of Utthan Centre for Sustainable Development,in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India; Professor Olavi Luukkanen will act as Custos.
Hard copies of the thesis are available free of charge from VITRI. The publication is also downloadable from E-thesis.
Press release in Finnish: Vieraslaji ja pyhä puu – Proposis juliflora Etelä-Intian hyötynä ja kiusana
Doctoral thesis defence on forest governance and capacity building in Ethiopia and
Southern Sudan on Friday 21 January 2011
Roope Husgafvel will defend his doctoral thesis “Global and EU governance for sustainable forest management with special reference to capacity building in Ethiopia and Southern Sudan” in Auditorium XII of the University Main Building (Unioninkatu 34) on Friday 21 January 2011 at 12 o’clock noon. The opponent is Professor Frederick Owino (FORIN International, Kenya), now working as special advisor to the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) forestry administration in Juba. Professor Olavi Luukkanen will act as the chair.
A limited number of hard copies of the thesis is available free of charge from VITRI.
The publication is also downloadable from E-thesis.
Press release (in Finnish): Kestävä metsätalous Etelä-Sudanissa edellyttää paikallisyhteisöjen vastuuta ja riittävää tukea kehityskumppaneilta.