Responsive Natural Resources Governance

Research Group

The main aim of this research group is to analyse the local, bilateral and multilateral environmental governance interventions and agreements. We also study policy changes and strategical processes, such as the transition towards circular and bio based economy.

The conceptual understanding of responsive collaborative governance of the natural resources is an example of our current research challenge. Globally, there are efforts to support the transition towards the circular and bio-based economy and to reform natural resources governance in an attempt to respond to local circumstances while mitigating global climate change. We approach these interventions, agreements and processes not only as mechanisms for policy implementation, climate change mitigation and greater environmental legality, but also as mechanisms for environmental governance that can lead to major changes in natural resources governance and responsiveness among actors.

Our research group directs its focus on relevant issues, including distribution of benefits, costs, risks and opportunities for land use, forest management and natural resources utilisation as well as on roles and resources among policy actors, private sector, user groups and the local communities and citizens, such as youth involved. The main interests of this research include change in actors’ participation in the various processes and instruments as well as the transparency of the processes in which important decisions about forest and land resources are made. We are also interested in context specific impacts on responsiveness between different actors, and access and rights to resources is an important concept of inquiry.

The Responsive Natural Resources Governance Research Group focuses on a number of case study countries, including Finland, Russia, Laos, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Mexico, Mozambique and Tanzania.

One of our Policy Briefs can be read here as PDF file.

Our research group constitutes one of the research groups of advanced-level strong research area Sustainable governance of natural resources and it is a vital part of the Social Scientific Biosociety Research (SOBIO) network and the LYY network: The Institute for Natural Resources, Environment and Society (LYY).


Principle Investigator, Professor of Social-Scientific Bioeconomy Research Irmeli Mustalahti

Senior Researcher Antti Erkkilä

Senior Researcher Nina Tokola

PhD students: Denis Dobrynin, Violeta Gutiérrez Zamora, Maija Hyle, Bishnu Devkota, Rijal Ramdani, Mariaselvam Geethanjali, Estevao Eduardo Chambule, Aristarik Hubert Maro, Pamela White

Contact information for the group

Irmeli Mustalahti: irmeli.mustalahti(at)
Denis Dobrynin: denis.dobrynin(at)