Professor Di Minin Enrico and working group (iConica)

384300 €

Investigating impacts of Finnish international trade on African biodiversity

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

Human activities are eroding nature, causing extinction of species, and loss of ecosystems, and consequently reducing the contributions (e.g., carbon sequestration) nature provides to people. Land-use change is increasingly driven by economic globalization, linking social-ecological systems across large distances via international trade and other forms of telecouplings. Africa is one of the last global strongholds for conservation, but very little is still known about the impacts of telecouplings on its biodiversity. Finland’s Africa strategy aims at doubling the trade between Finland and African countries with still little understanding of the biodiversity impacts related to the foreseen increase in this trade. This project will seek to understand what impacts the international trade involved with the Finland’s Africa strategy will have on African biodiversity and the services it provides to people. Specifically, we aim to (i) fill information gaps and develop new distribution models for species occurring in Africa using novel data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and Flickr; (ii) identify important areas for the conservation of biodiversity and nature contributions to people; (iii) identify which of these species and important areas for conservation will be most likely impacted by the foreseen increase in international trade and which industry sectors will play the biggest role. Throughout the project we will engage Finnish and African stakeholders and transfer knowledge for enhanced decision-making on biodiversity conservation and more nature-positive trade opportunities. Our research is aligned with the EU regulations for imports that do not affect biodiversity outside Europe and Finland’s Africa Strategy and Development Policy by focusing on human-centered biodiversity conservation. The results will also help inform the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the African Union Agenda 2063 Goals, and the Global Biodiversity Framework.