Calendar | 09/06/2017

Ecological compensation – Greenwashing or washing-proof green?

Scientific, societal and cultural approaches to biodiversity offsetting
Add to my calendar 2017-06-09 2017-06-09 Europe/Helsinki Ecological compensation – Greenwashing or washing-proof green? Ecological compensation – Greenwashing or washing-proof green? Koneen Säätiö



Kone Foundation organizes a two-day event on the world of ecological compensation in Turku, Finland. The event will combine perspectives from social and ecological research, literature, and art. The event will be co-organized with the Biodiversity Now! initiative, The Habitat Bank of Finland and the Forum for Environmental Information.

The construction of motorways and reservoirs, the digging of mines and even the building of detached houses have direct damaging effects on the habitats of other species. Exploiting natural resources – as in timber harvesting – damages the environment, but such activities have traditionally been evaluated from the viewpoint of individuals, societies or economies. National GDPs remain strongly tied to the exploitation of natural resources. At the same time, people have become aware that humanity is entirely dependent on functioning ecosystems. An international discussion is under way on how human activities can be modified to stop the harmful impacts on the environment. In addition to the conservation measures that are already in use, new methods are needed. One option is the implementation of ecological compensation: the loss or degradation of a habitat is compensated by restoring similar habitats elsewhere. The aim is to halt the decline of biodiversity.

Is our society ready to accept economic sacrifices in order to halt environmental damage? Is ecological idealism preventing the broad introduction of compensation? Do we understand all the ecological aspects of compensation? Does the political rhetoric correspond to the ecological requirements and facts? How is nature referred to in political rhetoric, or in scientific or literary publications? Do apocalyptic scenarios in literature inspire activism or despair? Can an ecocritical approach lead to a sharp analysis of the subject and make people think?

Kone Foundation’s aim is to make the world a better place, but even its actions burden the environment. As an aspect of its own environmental responsibility, the foundation is planning a thematic grant call for multidisciplinary projects that deal with ecological compensations. This networking seminar will provide the framework for the theme-based application round.

On the first day of the event, Friday the 9th of June, we will organize a multidisciplinary seminar in Turku. The seminar is open for everyone. Some of the talks will be in Finnish, but they will be interpreted into English.

On Saturday the 10th of June, there will be a workshop day for scientists and scholars from different fields. The workshops will take place at the Saari Manor in Mynämäki. A maximum of 50 participants can be accepted; they will be selected on the bases of the information submitted in the registration form.

Speakers, performers and organizers

Janne Kotiaho is a professor of ecology in the University of Jyväskylä and a member of the Board of Directors in Kone Foundation. His interests are in pluralistic land use planning, assessing and reversing ecosystem degradation and the opportunities offered by ecological compensations. Kotiaho aims to influence the society by actively engaging in public discussions. Kotiaho chaired the Finnish working group on assessing and reversing ecosystem degradation (ELITE) and he is currently involved in a global assessment of the land degradation and restoration for the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Anthony D. Barnosky is Executive Director of Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. He has spent three decades studying past planetary changes and what they mean for understanding today’s global change. His current research focuses on extinctions and climate change. He is the author of numerous scientific articles and blog posts. His recent books examine the state of the planet today and how we can guide it toward a future we want, rather than one that inadvertently happens to us.

KaroliinaLummaais a researcher of literature and environmental humanities. Currently, she is working in the research project “Messy Worlds” (Department of Finnish Literature, University of Turku), funded by Kone Foundation. Lummaa is a Docent in ecocriticism and she has co-edited Finnish anthologies devoted to multidisciplinary environmental research (2012), poetry criticism (2007, 2012) and posthumanism (2014).

Nina V. Nygren does research on nature conservation politics and conflicts. She currently holds the position of University Lecturer of Environmental policy in the Faculty of Management at the University of Tampere. Nygren is also a founding member and the chairperson of the research cooperative Tutkimusosuuskunta Tapaus. Tapaus works e.g. on new conservation solutions.

Atte Moilanen is Research Director of conservation decision analysis at the University of Helsinki, Department of Biosciences. With a background in computer science, applied mathematics and ecology, his research has focused on conceptual and methodological issues in spatial ecology, ecologically based land use planning, and ecoinformatics. Moilanen has during the past decade also published several studies about biodiversity offsets.


Toni Lahtinen works as a university lecturer and researcher of literature in the University of Tampere. His postdoctoral research focuses on the descriptions of environmental risks, catastrophies and myths in contemporary Finnish literature. Lahtinen is also involved in the research program “Darkening visions: Dystopian fiction in contemporary Finnish literature” funded by Kone Foundation.

Research Professor Eeva Primmer is the Head of the Environmental Governance Unit at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and a Docent in Environmental policy at the University of Helsinki. Her research topics cover governance mechanisms and policy instruments as well as implementation, networks and practices. Her substantial expertise lies in ecosystem services governance as well as policies in the areas of biodiversity conservation, forestry and natural resources.

Minna Pekkonen works as a postdoctoral researcher in the projects Ecosystem Hotel and The Habitat Bank of Finland at the Finnish Environment Institute. The goal in both projects is to find novel methods and different co-operation possibilities to halt the biodiversity loss. Pekkonen has a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Markku Ollikainen (presentation coming soon)

Jussi Päivinen works in Metsähallitus as the Development director of Parks & Wildlife Finland. He is responsible for the projects, internal development and international relations of Parks & Wildlife Finland.

Essi Kausalainen’s artistic practice operates on the sensuous capacity of our bodily being and its philosophic and ethic materiality.  In her work, the body is approached as an open ended process made in, and shaped by complex relations with other beings, situations and environments. Basing her practice on imagining and play, Kausalainen aims to escape the hierarchical ways of thinking and operating.

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Friday 9.6.2017

Seminar in the Sigyn Hall, Turku, from approximately 10:30 until at 17:30.

Janne Kotiaho: Ecological compensation – Greenwashing or washing-proof green?

Anthony Barnosky: Ecological Compensation Is Necessary To Avoid the Sixth Mass Extinction

Karoliina Lummaa: Biodiversity – why it matters for culture?

Nina Nygren: Compensation and conservation conflicts

Atte Moilanen: Why do biodiversity offsets fail? – Critical factors in the determination of offsets

Toni Lahtinen: Ecodystopias in Literature

Eeva Primmer: Institutional conditions for biodiversity offsetting

Minna Pekkonen: Ecosystem Hotel – Long-term Accommodation for Entire Ecosystems

Markku Ollikainen: (title coming soon)

Jussi Päivinen: The role of state-owned land in the provision of ecological compensations

Essi Kausalainen: Lovers

Saturday 10.6.2017

Workshops at the Saari Manor in Mynämäki, approximately 9:00-18:00. The workshops will deal with various themes concerning ecological compensation.

The participants of the workshop day will be offered hotel accommodation in Turku, meals at the Saari Manor and a bus transportation between Turku and the Saari Manor.

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Date and location

Friday 9th of June:
Sigyn hall, Turku Conservatory
Linnankatu 60
20100 Turku

Saturday 10th of June:
The Saari Residence
Saaren rantatie 21
23140 Hietamäki

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Use this form to sign up for the seminar in Turku on Friday the 9th of June. The registration ends on the 21st of May at 24:00. If you also want to apply for the workshop on Saturday, please scroll down.

Sign up for the seminar on Friday

Huomaathan, että asteriskilla (*) merkityt tiedot jaetaan seminaariin ilmoittautuneille. | Please note that the information marked with an asterisk (*) is distributed to all the people signed up for the seminar. Ilmoitathan meille (, jos et halua, että sähköpostiosoitteesi jaetaan osallistujille. | Please inform us (, if you don’t want your email address to be shared with the participants.


Sign up for the seminar on Friday and apply for the workshop day on Saturday

Use this form to sign up for the seminars in Turku on Friday the 9th of June and to apply for the workshops in Saaren Kartano on Saturday the 10th of June. The registration ends on the 14th of May at 24:00. The applicants for the workshop day will be informed during week 20 whether they were cohsen to participate in the workshops.

Työpajapäivän aikana tarjoillaan lakto-ovovegetaarista ruokaa, mutta kerro tässä jos sinulla on muita rajoitteita. | Lacto-ovovegetarian food will be served during the workshop day, but if you have other diet restrictions, please describe the limitations here.
Työpajan osallistujlle tarjotaan majoitus Turussa kahden hengen hotellihuoneissa. | The participants of the workshop day will be offered accommodation in a twin room (shared with another participant) in a hotel in Turku.
Huomaathan, että tupla-asteriskilla (**) merkityt tiedot jaetaan perjantain seminaariin ilmoittautuneille. | Please note that the information marked with double asterisk (**) is distributed to all the people signed up for Friday’s seminar. Ilmoitathan meille (, jos et halua, että sähköpostiosoitteesi jaetaan osallistujille. | Please inform us (, if you don’t want your email address to be shared with the participants.

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