Simo Sarkki

Simo Sarkki


Anthropology of Environmental Governance

42 peer reviewed publications in international journals. The publications have been cited 829 times, of which the most cited publication accounts for 119 citations. The author has a h-index of 15.00. (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 land use
  • Environmental governance
  • Science-policy-society interfaces
  • Qualitative scenarios
  • Participation
  • Social innovations

Ongoing projects

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

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



Involvement in past projects

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


Selected publications

Sarkki, S., H. I. Heikkinen, V-P Herva, & J. Saarinen. 2018. Myths on local use of natural resources and social equity of land use governance: Reindeer herding in Finland. Land Use Policy 77: 322–331.

Sarkki, S. 2017. Governance services: Co-producing human well-being with ecosystem services. Ecosystem Services 27: 82–91.

Sarkki, S., A. Ficko, K. Grunewald, A. Kyriazopoulos, & M. Nijnik. 2017. How pragmatism in environmental science and policy can undermine sustainability transformations: the case of marginalized mountain areas under climate and land use change. Sustainability Science 12: 549-561. DOI: 10.1007/s11625-016-0411-3

Rantala, L., S. Sarkki, T.P. Karjalainen, & P. Rossi. 2017. How to earn the status of honest broker? Scientists’ roles facilitating the political water supply decision making process. Society & Natural Resources 30: 1288 – 1298.

Heikkinen, H.I., É. Lepy, S. Sarkki, & T. Komu. 2016. Challenges in acquiring a social licence to mine in the globalising Arctic. Polar Record 52(4): 399-411. doi:10.1017/S0032247413000843.

Sarkki, S., T. Komu, H.I. Heikkinen, N. Acosta García, É. Lépy, & V-P. Herva. 2016. Applying a Synthetic Approach to the Resilience of Finnish Reindeer Herding as a Changing Livelihood.  Ecology & Society 21(4):14.

Sarkki, S., R. Tinch, J. Niemelä, U. Heink, K. Waylen, J. Timaeus, J. Young, A. Watt, C. Neßhöver, & S. van den Hove. 2015. Adding ‘iterativity’ to the credibility, relevance, legitimacy – scheme to highlight dynamic aspects of science-policy interfaces. Environmental Science & Policy 54: 505–512.

Sarkki, S. & H.I. Heikkinen. 2015. Why do environmentalists not consider compromises as legitimate? Combining value- and process-based explanations from Finnish forest controversies. Forest Policy & Economics 50: 110–117. 

Sarkki, S., J. Niemelä, R. Tinch, S. van den Hove, A. Watt, & J. Young. 2014. Balancing credibility, relevance and legitimacy: A critical assessment of trade-offs in science-policy interfaces. Science & Public Policy 41(2): 194–206. 

Heikkinen, H.I., S. Sarkki, & M. Nuttall. 2012. Users or producers of ecosystem services? A scenario exercise for integrating conservation and reindeer herding in northeast Finland. Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice 2:11.


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.

Thesis supervisions

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


Transformation and Social Innovation for Sustainable Arctic Communities

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