FE4/2009 The 2008 Evaluation of SYKE
The Finnish Environment Institute
Rik Leemans, Leen Hordijk, Milena Horvat, Thomas B. Johansson, Pieter Leroy and Kaja Peterson.
The Finnish Environment 4/2009, Environmental Protection, 73 p, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), URN:ISBN: 978-952-11-3383-1, ISBN 978-952-11-3383-1 (PDF).
The publication is available also in printed form ISBN 978-952-11-3382-4 (pbk).
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An independent panel of six international experts assessed SYKE’s research and expert services with the help of background material, questionnaires, and interviews, in November 2008.
The Panel’s review revealed an active and vital institute. SYKE’s methodological strength lies in the development of scientific approaches and tools based on the collection, management, and application of large environmental datasets which are available or compiled within SYKE.
The Panel’s main recommendations concerned the organisational separation of research and expert services, the 24/7 operational activities, the role of the Advisory Board, and SYKE’s role and position in the Finnish environmental land-scape, especially in the policy cycle.
The Panel sees ample opportunities for SYKE to take a more proactive role in assessing policy progress towards environmental targets, developing strategies and scenarios for sustainable development, and informing the policy-making process on implications of different targets for environmental ambitions.
The Panel recommends strengthening the science-policy-interaction by creating a participatory integrated assessment approach which combines the environmental understanding, created by SYKE’s different tasks, and the needs of SYKE’s various stakeholders. The availability of spatially explicit environmental data has a huge potential in combination with socio-economic data, to play an essential role in the development of an innovative integrated assessment approach.
According to the Panel the planned increase in SYKE’s cooperation with national and foreign universities, the establishment of an Environment and Natural Resources Consortium, and participating in the national programmes of Centres of Excellence in research and of Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation are all essential for SYKE’s development.
Division manager Ismo Tiainen, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)