Photo: Ilari Lehtonen

Survey about changes in the environment and residents' wishes for the future in the Savukoski region

4.2.2022 8:25

Residents of Savukoski are encouraged to respond to an online survey mapping environmental changes and their effects. The survey is conducted by the Universities of Lapland and Turku. Answers can be given during February – March 2022.

The survey is part of EU Horizon 2020 funded research project called CHARTER, which studies how the Arctic environment has changed and will change in the next decades due to natural and man-made factors, such as climate change. 

Changes in northern climate and in land use affect biodiversity, snow and ice cover, as well as human communities and local industries. The changes are especially felt in the daily lives of those who work in nature, such as reindeer herders and fishermen, and those involved in agriculture, forestry and tourism. Northern nature and local communities are also increasingly affected by new forms of land use, such as mining and wind power generation, which bring both challenges and opportunities.

Bruce Forbes, a research professor at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland and the leader of the CHARTER project emphasizes the importance of the local knowledge. 

– Local people’s observations will be heard and they enrich the research data. The observations help to build an overall picture of the changes and their significance. This way we can provide to decision makers data that is more diverse and that takes local specificities into account, Forbes says.

In the online survey respondents can tell about the changes they have observed in the environment and mark them on the map. 

– The changes can concern for example changes in seasonal weather or snow and ice conditions during the respondent's lifetime or changes in the occurrence of certain plant and animal species, erosion, floods or changes in forest fires, says researcher Salla Eilola from the Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku.

In addition, the survey collects information on future views, such as where possible new activities in the Savukoski region should be directed or which areas should be saved from land use development.

The survey is intended for residents of the Savukoski region and those who live there seasonally. Researchers are looking for answers especially from reindeer herders, fishermen, hunters and others who spend a lot of time in nature.

The survey is available in Finnish and in English and it can be answered on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Go to the survey: bit.ly/Savukoskenkysely

More information about the survey and CHARTER -project

Salla Eilola
PhD, Postdoctoral researcher
Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku

Bruce Forbes
Research professor
Arctic Centre, University of Lapland
040 847 9202

Website of the CHARTER -project: www.charter-arctic.org