Simo Sarkki

Burning for science

Dr. Simo Sarkki

Simo Sarkki


Anthropology of Environmental Governance

58 peer reviewed publications in international journals. The publications have been cited 1512 times, of which the most cited publication accounts for 188 citations. The author has a h-index of 20.00. (Google scholar)


Researcher, Cultural Anthropology, University of Oulu. PO 1000, 90014, University of Oulu, Finland.

Email: simo.sarkki(at)

Simo Sarkki has PhD in anthropology (2011) and holds docentship on “anthropology of environmental governance” at University of Oulu (2013), Finland. Sarkki has worked in various research projects related to environmental governance. Sarkki’s research interests include science-policy interfaces, land use in northern areas, scenarios, participatory approaches and multi-level governance under the broader theme of environmental governance. 


Research interests

  • Arctic
  • Environmental governance
  • Science-policy-society interfaces
  • Qualitative scenarios
  • Participation
  • Social innovations
  • Land use

Ongoing projects

ReiGN (Reindeer Husbandry in a Globalizing North – Resilience, Adaptations and Pathways for Actions, 2016 – 2020). Nordic Center of Excellence.



Involvement in past projects

SIMRA: Social Innovations in Marginal Rural Areas. EU Horizon 2020. (2016 – 2020)

Understanding the Cultural Impacts and Issues of Lapland Mining: A Long-Term Perspective on Sustainable Mining Policies in the North. Academy of Finland (2014 – 2018).

GOHERR: Integrated governance of Baltic herring and salmon stocks involving stakeholders. BONUS (2015 – 2018).

SENSFOR: Enhancing the resilience capacity of SENSitive mountain FORest ecosystems under environmental change. European Commission, ESSEM COST Action ES1203 (2012 – 2016). 

SPIRAL: Science-Policy Interfaces for biodiversity: Research, Action and Learning. European Commission, FP 7, contract 244035 (2010 – 2013)

SCENES - Water Scenarios for Europe and for Neighbouring State. European Commission, FP6 contract 036822. (2006 – 2010).

FiDiPro programme Human-Environment Relations in the North: resource development, climate change and resilience (2007-2012) funded by Academy of Finland

EU-Life Landscape laboratories -project


Recent publications

Ravazzoli, Elisa; Dalla Torre, Cristina; Da Re, Riccardo; Marini Govigli, Valentino; Secco, Laura; Górriz-Mifsud, Elena; Pisani, Elena; Barlagne, Carla; Baselice, Antonio; Bengoumi, Mohammed; Dijskhoorn-Dekker, Marijke; Labidi, Arbia; Lopolito, Antonio; Melnykovych, Mariana; Perlik, Manfred; Polman, Nico; Sarkki, Simo; Vassilopoulos, Achilleas; Koundouri, Phoebe; Miller, David; Streifeneder, Thomas; Nijnik, Maria. 2021. "Can Social Innovation Make a Change in European and Mediterranean Marginalized Areas? Social Innovation Impact Assessment in Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, and Rural Development" Sustainability 13, no. 4: 1823.

Kluvankova, T., Nijnik, M., Spacek, M., Sarkki, S., Perlik, M., Lukesch, R., Melnykovych, M., Valero, D. and Brnkalakova, S. (2021), Social innovation for sustainability transformation and its diverging development paths in marginalised rural areas. Sociologia Ruralis. Accepted Author Manuscript. 

Cortina‐Segarra, J., García‐Sánchez, I., Grace, M., Andrés, P., Baker, S., Bullock, C., Decleer, K., Dicks, L., Fisher, J., Frouz, J., Klimkowska, A., Kyriazopoulos, A., Moreno‐Mateos, D., Rodríguez‐González, P., Sarkki, S. and Ventocilla, J. 2021. Barriers to ecological restoration in Europe: expert perspectives. Restoration Ecology, Accepted Author Manuscript. 

Sarkki, Simo; Torre, Cristina D.; Fransala, Jasmiini; Živojinović, Ivana; Ludvig, Alice; Górriz-Mifsud, Elena; Melnykovych, Mariana; Sfeir, Patricia R.; Arbia, Labidi; Bengoumi, Mohammed; Chorti, Houda; Gramm, Verena; López Marco, Lucía; Ravazzoli, Elisa; Nijnik, Maria. 2021. "Reconstructive Social Innovation Cycles in Women-Led Initiatives in Rural Areas" Sustainability 13, no. 3: 1231. 

Haapasaari, Päivi, Suvi Ignatius, Mia Pihlajamäki, Andreas Bryhn, Simo Sarkki, Jouni Tuomisto, Lauri Nevalainen, Annukka Lehikoinen, Timo Assmuth, Atso Romakkaniemi, Heikki Peltonen, Sakari Kuikka. 2021. Integrated governance for managing multidimensional problems: Potentials, challenges, and arrangements. Marine Policy 123: 104276.

Ludvig, Alice, Simo Sarkki, Gerhard Weiss, Ivana Zivojinovic. 2021. Policy impacts on social innovation in forestry and back: Institutional change as a driver and outcome. Forest Policy and Economics 122: 102335.

Sarkki, S., Heikkinen, H.I., & A Löf. 2021. Reindeer herders as stakeholders or right-holders? Introducing a social equity-based conceptualization relevant for indigenous and local communities. In: Nordic Perspectives on the Responsible Development of the Arctic: Pathways to Action. Editor: Douglas C. Nord. Pp. 271-292. Springer Polar Sciences, Switzerland. DOI:

Nijnik, M.; Kluvankova, T.; Nijnik, A.; Kopiy, S.; Melnykovych, M.; Sarkki, S.; Barlagne, C.; Brnkalakova, S.; Kopiy, L.; Fizyk, I.; Miller, D. 2020. Is There a Scope for Social Innovation in Ukrainian Forestry? Sustainability 12, 9674. doi:10.3390/su12229674

Hiedanpää, J., Saijets, J., Jounela, P., Jokinen, M., & Sarkki, S. 2020. Beliefs in Conflict: The Management of Teno Atlantic Salmon in the Sámi Homeland in Finland. Environmental Management. 

Mozumder, M.M.H., A. Pyhälä, Md. A. Wahab, S. Sarkki,  P. Schneider, and M.M. Islam. 2020. Governance and Power Dynamics in a Small-Scale Hilsa Shad (Tenualosa ilisha) Fishery: A Case Study from Bangladesh. Sustainability 12, 5738. doi:10.3390/su12145738

Sarkki, Simo, Sirpa Rasmus, Mia Landauer, Élise Lépy, & Hannu I. Heikkinen (2020) Matching societal knowledge demand, research funding and scientific knowledge supply: trends and co-creation dynamics around reindeer management in Finland. Polar Geography, DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2020.1755905. Published online: 23 Apr 2020.

Pihlajamäki, M, Helle, I, Haapasaari, P, Sarkki, S, Kuikka, S, Lehikoinen, A. 2020. Catching the future: Applying Bayesian belief networks to exploratory scenario storylines to assess long‐term changes in Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras, Clupeidae) and salmon (Salmo salar, Salmonidae) fisheries. Fish & Fisheries. 2020; 00: 1– 16.



Sarkki, S. 2011. The Site Strikes Back: Multi-level forest governance and participation in northern Finland. PhD thesis. Thule Institute & Discipline of Anthropology, University of Oulu, Finland. Acta Universitatis Ouluensis B 102.

Professional and community activities

  • Member of EKLIPSE ( Knowledge Coordination Body (2020-)
  • Invited to work (2018-2019) in EKLIPSE ( Expert Group to bring in social science expertise in developing a Protocol for assessing barriers for effective ecological restoration.
  • Deputy member in International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) ( Group on Social Innovation and entrepreneurship since 2019.

Research groups

  • Transarct:

Thesis supervisions

Chocó challenges : communities negotiating matters of concern and care on Colombia’s margin
  • Nicolas Acostá García

Pursuing the good life in the North : examining the coexistence of reindeer herding, extractive industries and nature-based tourism in northern Fennoscandia
  • Teresa Komu


Transformation and Social Innovation for Sustainable Arctic Communities

Strategic research project of the University of OuluFocus institute: EudaimoniaFaculty: Humanities