Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Economy and the Society Unit, Nature Values Group, Helsinki
Fellowship Period: 08.2021-11.2021
Liisa Tyrväinen (Dr. For.) works as a research professor studying outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism as well as health and social benefits of nature. Her ongoing studies deal with assessing national outdoor recreation demand, the health effects of nature as well as the impacts of forest management on landscape and biodiversity values. Her research methods combine survey data with GIS-data in analyzing the use, evaluation and the supply of nature environments. Her research team also conducts experimental studies both on-site and in laboratory conditions. Since 2016 she also acted as a member of Metsähallitus board of directors leading management and utilization of state-owned forests and water areas in Finland.
Forests and other types of nature environments provide range of societal and health benefits such as opportunities for recreation and sports contributing to public health. My key focus at WSL was to learn more about contemporary outdoor recreation research in Switzerland as well as about the research focusing of nature’s impacts on human health and well-being.
During my visit at WSL I had many personal meetings with the WSL researchers and we organized two workshops. The first workshop focused on national outdoor recreation monitoring activities conducted at WSL and at Luke exploring similarities and differences in research approaches as well as potential collaboration themes. The specific topics discussed included the monitoring methodologies, what known about behavioural changes, factors affecting recreational choices and the importance of forest recreation among Swiss and Finns. The second workshop focused on health and well-being from nature research. The workshop explored research linked to attitudes and values towards differently managed nature areas as well as methods used in experimental studies investigating the effects of nature on human health and well-being. Linked to latter theme we continue collaborating with WSL and Luke within IUFRO’s Global Forest Expert Panel initiative by writing a joint review on Forests and Human Health by 2023.
Prof. Dr. Dominique Siegrist, Ostschweizer Fachhochschule Rapperswil