BUP PhD Award
The BUP award for best PhD dissertation defended in 2016/17 goes to Dr Iuliia Shvediuk (Ukrainian National Forestry University, Lviv/National University of Water and Environmental Engineering, Rivne) for her dissertation “Evaluation of Economic Efficiency of Reforestation on Forest Sites: Maley Polissya Case Study”. This cross-disciplinary study in the field of sustainable economics in silviculture under the conditions of ongoing climate change has broad applicability throughout the Baltic Sea Region. The purpose of the PhD dissertation is to develop and integrated theoretical and methodological approaches for assessing the efficiency of reforestation combining assessments by taking into account the following factors: the economic costs/benefits of natural vs. artificial reforestation methods; differences in productivity for different species and mixes of trees; the effects of sustainable forest management; and the overall economic and broader public benefits of reforestation. The assessment and predictive models developed for the particular case study, which also seek to include the effects both a changing climate, and changing patterns of land use, has clear relevance for many countries of the Baltic Sea Region, where forests are an important economic and societal resource. This study, which combines methods from agricultural and environmental sciences and sustainability economics, and which includes comparative data from several countries in our region, exemplifies the type of integrated, interdisciplinary, and innovative sustainability research produced in and for our region that BUP seeks to promote.
Honourable mention goes to Dr Jonas Pålsson (World Maritime University, Malmö), whose dissertation, “Oil Spill Preparedness in Sweden: Prevention, Planning, and Response for Large Accidents”, was also deemed highly topical and of potential benefit to many countries in the Baltic Sea Region. The dissertation looks at whether the lessons learned from a major oil spill in Swedish waters in 2003 actually changed the preparedness for similar disasters ten years on. Where the current scholarship on oil spills focuses on specific aspects of preparedness and response, or are limited to evaluating particular geographic contexts, this dissertation provides insights into good practice and general preparedness for oil spills that offer lessons to the states and municipalities surrounding our common, fragile Baltic Sea. While mainly focusing on Sweden, it nonetheless includes relevant international frameworks and builds on data and methodologies from several disciplines.