3rd International Conference for Sustainable Resource Society


The conference is in person at the Kuopio, Finland campus and on-line


ICS23 is a multi-disciplinary conference focused on challenges of sustainability transitions in society, environmental change, and sustainable use of natural resources. ICS23 is organized around five working groups: bio society, climate, water, energy & minerals, and circular economy and sustainable society. ICS23 is jointly organized by a consortium of University of Eastern Finland Research Communities: RESOURCE, FOBI, WATER, CLEHE, and PHOTONICS.

The conference will be held on-site at the Kuopio campus of the University of Eastern Finland accompanied with a limited online participation.

ICS23 offers a platform for researchers from all fields of science to share research insights and discuss the complex global and local challenges on sustainability transitions, use of natural resources, environmental and climate change, and circular economy themes from a broad perspective, or those which are related to the conference theme. 

We welcome both poster presentations and oral presentations. 

You are all warmly invited to give presentations and discuss your ongoing research and projects with key scholars from different research disciplines. Please submit an abstract (200-300 words) by August 31, 2023.

The conference will be organized as a hybrid event and there are no conference fees for conference participation or for the evening event. The on-site event will held at the Kuopio campus of the University of Eastern Finland. The online event details will be shared at a later date.   

Welcome to ICS23!  



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Climate Forcing, Ecosystems and Health (CLEHE RC)

CLEHE brings together scientists from the multidisciplinary fields of aerosol physics, environmental science and climate law and policy aiming to increase understanding of various direct and indirect climate change and mitigation measures and their health effects. The CLEHE session welcomes papers in different fields of research including studies on natural and anthropogenic emissions, natural feedback mechanisms, mitigation technologies, actions and policies as well as human health. The special topics for the CLEHE sessions are:
• Causes and consequences of alterations in atmospheric water balance due to climatic change
• Potentials for carbon sequestration in ecosystems
• Soils in changing climate - The impact of the changing climate on northern soils, especially on carbon and nitrogen cycles and greenhouse gas emissions
• Anthropogenic aerosols, air pollution and their mitigation technologies
• Carbon capture, storage and utilization – CCU.

Forests and Bioeconomy Research Community (FOBI RC) 

Outlines for the working group and its thematic session: Transition to a low-carbon and resource-efficient society in Europe and globally is a key requirement for climate change mitigation, for which forests and the forest-based bioeconomy can contribute largely. However, in sustainable and climate smart forest management and utilisation we must simultaneously take account multiple ecosystem services, climate-induced risks to forests and forestry (e.g., storms, drought, forest fires, and bark beetles), and the need to adapt to and mitigate climate change. It also requires the development, production and marketing of innovative forest-based products that could replace fossil-intensive products and increase the carbon storage of wood-based products. In this working group, we aim to provide the necessary scientific knowledge needed to transfer into a biosociety, that relies on sustainably managed and utilized forests and sustainable production and consumption of pro-environmental products and services to mitigate climate change. In our thematic session, we will discuss about science-based solutions needed for improving the sustainable and multifunctional management and use of forests for different ecosystem services and creating and accelerating sustainable bioeconomy markets and business in forest-based bioeconomy.

Forests and bioeconomy Session

Keynote/keynotes: To be confirmed 
Possible research themes to be covered in presentations: 
• Efficient acquisition and utilization of forest resource data
• Climate smart forest management
• Sustainable processes, products, and services
• Sustainable business models and consumer behavior

UEF Water

Restoration and recovery of aquatic biodiversity
Chairs: Anssi Vainikka and Giovanna Mottola

All biodiversity is based on genetic diversity. Aquatic biodiversity has faced both visible and invisible declines during past decades: migratory fishes suffer from structural changes in waterways, deterioration of water quality affects all biota, and human wildlife conflicts threat even the most iconic mammalians. Expected declines of genetic diversity are alarming but monitoring efforts for now are marginal. Moreover, micro- and nanoscale plastics, and biologically active chemicals ranging from long-known heavy metals to novel organic contaminants with hormone-like effects pose yet another invisible threat.
This session calls for presentations that tackle our ability to regenerate aquatic biodiversity. We call for contributions ranging from biology and technological solutions to social sciences and law: how we can transform the current socioecological systems for resilient future that can bear the costs of global climate change?
As it becomes clear that status quo actions will not reverse the negative biodiversity trends, research is needed to open feasible new trajectories for societal change, law and policies. Shifts in public opinion have created a momentum for conservation and restoration efforts and increased economic nature-based activities without detrimental costs for biodiversity. We will discuss the need for solid biological data in the management of continuously evolving resources under the environmental pressures, and novel understanding on sustainability that is hierarchically based on natural sciences. We take a multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary approach that will take us out from the era of predictable clockworks towards an adaptive and innovative future that is based on understanding the change.
The key questions to be addressed:
- What is the biological potential for a recovery of aquatic biodiversity, what is needed?
- How do we reverse the water quality trends?
- How do we ensure just green transition and develop new sustainable economic activity?
- How is the hierarchical nature of sustainability guaranteed in law and policy?

Governing the restoration of aquatic and water dependent ecosystems
Chair: Niko Soininen

Human development has altered a vast proportion of ecosystems globally to the effect that earth’s life support systems are at jeopardy (climate, biodiversity, quality of the environment). Consequently, mitigation of human impact on ecosystems is no longer sufficient and there is a need to restore and bring back nature across the land-water divide, which means questioning past and existing land and natural resource activities. Recognizing this, the EU has established an ambitious Biodiversity Strategy and proposed a regulation for nature restoration. The proposal sets multiple binding restoration targets and obligations across a broad range of ecosystems. Many, although not all, of these restoration targets are related to aquatic habitats or bringing back a natural water cycle to a specific terrestrial habitat.
Despite influential policy calls for nature restoration, the wide-scale implementation of restoration activities invites considerable monitoring, societal welfare, justice, and legal questions. For instance, how to measure and model the biophysical impact of restoration activities; what are the benefits and trade-offs emanating from such activities; what kind of business opportunities restoration brings and what kind and how much other economic activity is lost in the process; how can restoration efforts be reconciled with climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts; are restoration activities to be prioritised at the expense of other land- and natural resources use activities, and what are the legal aspects of restoration. These questions, among others, present a need for interdisciplinary nature restoration research. In this session, our focus is on recognising the key biophysical, economic, governance, and legal aspects of nature restoration.

Exploring the amenity values of blue spaces
Chair: Henna Konu

Natural areas and environmental resources such as coastal, river, or woodland habitats, and protected areas are known to provide numerous positive wellbeing benefits to individuals and societies. These include several possibilities for recreation, leisure, and wildlife viewing, but also provide opportunities for improved physical health through green exercise, visual amenity, improved mental or psychological well-being, artistic inspiration, and ecological education.
This session calls for proposals linked to the amenity values of blue spaces, particularly from the perspective of recreation, well-being, and tourism. We invite researchers to submit abstracts on topics that explore the meaning of the amenity values of blue spaces for individuals, businesses, communities, and society. The abstracts may include studies that examine e.g., the impact of water-based recreation and tourism on mental and physical health, the role of the amenity values of waters in nature-based service provision, the economic benefits of water-based tourism and recreational activities, and the social benefits of promoting a sustainable society through responsible use of water resources.

Measuring, monitoring, and modelling aquatic systems
Chairs: Carlos Palacin Lizarbe and Taija Saarela

This session brings together research on innovative measuring, monitoring, and modeling techniques to identify, understand, predict, and manage the cumulating human induced stressors in changing climatic conditions affecting catchment areas and connected aquatic ecosystems. Studies using continuous long term measurement data, remote sensing covering large areas, and other modern methods to expand the knowledge of ecosystem functioning and improve the management possibilities of aquatic ecosystems are welcome. Also, studies on greenhouse gas dynamics, carbon and nutrient cycles, as well as emerging pollutants are encouraged. Additionally, laboratory experiments related to aquatic ecosystems, to drinking water and wastewater are greatly appreciated. The session links together limnology, biogeochemistry, Global Change, and environmental stressors to nutrient cycling and ecology in aquatic systems.

Sustainable Resource Society – Circular Economy, Energy and Raw Materials (RESOURCE RC) 

RESOURCE sessions gather researchers’ insights from multidisciplinary perspectives of sustainability transitions. To achieve the long-term goals for a sustainable future and carbon neutrality, the core systems of our societies as well as our governance approaches and business practices will change rapidly and dramatically. In this context, sustainability transitions are processes through which we transform from resource-intensive to resource-wise carbon-neutral society. Circular economy, energy and raw materials represent examples of the different paths where these transformations take place.  

RESOURCE sessions invite researchers and professionals in different fields of research to submit abstracts on topics that are relevant to the overarching themes mentioned above. Young scholars and professionals as well as doctoral students are encouraged to submit an abstract. The conference aims to join views from disciplines such as economics, business studies, law, environmental policy, geography, history, sociology, and cultural studies. The topics to be discussed are as follows: circular economy, sustainable business, responsible community relations and social sustainability, sustainable raw materials and resources, energy law and governance, and energy transition, environmental law, governance, and politics, climate law, governance, and politics. 

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