Foto av Aili Pyhälä
  • PL 18 (Unioninkatu 35)



  • Viikinkaari 1, Biocentre 3

    00790 Helsinki



Research output per year

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Personlig profil


I have extensive grassroots-level experience in more than 25 countries immersing myself in, and engaging with, indigenous peoples and local communities, along with their knowledge systems, beliefs and practices. Alongside my academic work, I am a committed activist defending territories of life and their defenders, and in support of decolonized and decentralized governance systems. In trying to understand the roots of global processes of so-called “development”, I have also been drawn to understanding and explaining the nuances and universalities in cross-cultural perceptions of happiness and wellbeing.

I have on several occasions worked with national government and inter-ministerial policy groups in attempts to assist the incorporation of more holistic and integrated sustainability indicators (e.g. Ecological Footprint, Gross National Happiness) into decision-making. With 20 years of experience evaluating international cooperation projects worldwide, and following principles of permaculture, my current research looks at the ways in which the promotion and imposition of various forms of so-called “development” programmes – in the ways of mainstream systems of education, politico-spiritual governance, and natural resource management (including top-down conservation and food security strategies) - affect local cultures, environments, knowledge systems, and overall wellbeing. I sit in the Executive Committee of the ICCA Consortium, am Chair of the Finnish Society for Development Research, partner with the Centre of Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives (CICADA), and ambassador for the Global Ecovillage Network. I also sit in the Ethics Committee for Human Sciences at the University of Helsinki.

Utbildning information

Ph.D. in Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK (Oct 1999 - Apr 2004)
B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK (Oct 1995 - Jun 1999)


  • 5203 U-landsforskning
  • 1172 Miljövetenskap
  • 5200 Övriga samhällsvetenskaper

Internationellt och inhemskt samarbete Publikationer och projekt inom de senaste fem åren.


Global Environmental Change: Local perceptions, understandings and explanations

Pyhälä, A. A., Fernandez-Llamazares Onrubia, A., Lehvävirta, H., Byg, A., Ruiz-Mallén, I., Salpeteur, M. & Thornton, T., 2 sep 2016, I : Ecology and Society. 21, 3, 29 s., 25.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

Öppen tillgång

Hunter-gatherers in a Changing World

Reyes-Garcia, V. (red.) & Pyhälä, A. A. (red.), dec 2016, Springer International Publishing . 257 s.

Forskningsoutput: Bok/rapportAntologi eller special utgåvaVetenskapligPeer review

The essential role of other effective area-based conservation measures in achieving big bold conservation targets

Dudley, N., Jonas, H., Nelson, F., Parish, J., Pyhälä, A. A., Stolton, S. & Watson, J., jul 2018, I : Global Ecology and Conservation. 15, 7 s., 00424.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragÖversiktsartikelVetenskapligPeer review

Öppen tillgång

Subjective Wellbeing and Income: Empirical Patterns in the Rural Developing World

Reyes-Garcia, V., Babigumira, R., Pyhälä, A., Wunder, S., Zorondo-Rodriguez, F. & Angelsen, A., apr 2016, I : Journal of Happiness Studies. 17, 2, s. 773-791 19 s.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

Protected Areas in the Congo Basin: Failing both People and Biodiversity?

Pyhälä, A. A., Osuna Oroza, A. & Counsell, S., apr 2016, Rainforest Foundation UK. 144 s.

Forskningsoutput: Bok/rapportBeställd rapportProfessionell



The Politics of Sustainability: Re-thinking resources, values and justice

Aili Pyhälä (Ordförande i organisationskommitté)
15 feb 201816 feb 2018

Aktivitet: Typer för deltagande i eller organisering av evenemangArrangemang av och deltagande i konferens/workshop/kurs/seminarium

Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives (Extern organisation)

Aili Pyhälä (Styrelsemedlem)
jun 2018 → …

Aktivitet: MedlemskapstyperMedlemskap eller annan roll i forskningsnätverk

University of Helsinki Ethical review board in the humanities and social and behavioural sciences (Extern organisation)

Aili Pyhälä (Styrelsemedlem)
1 jan 2018 → …

Aktivitet: MedlemskapstyperMedlemskap eller annan roll i granskningskommitté

Biocultural approaches to conservation

Aili Pyhälä (Talare: Ordförande)
13 jun 2018

Aktivitet: Typer för deltagande i eller organisering av evenemangArrangemang av och deltagande i konferens/workshop/kurs/seminarium

Decolonising Methodologies in Conservation Research

Aili Pyhälä (Talare: Ordförande)
10 jun 2018

Aktivitet: Typer för deltagande i eller organisering av evenemangArrangemang av och deltagande i konferens/workshop/kurs/seminarium


Alkuperäiskansojen perinnetieto hanke - videohaastattelu

Aili Pyhälä


1 Mediabidrag

Press/media: !!Press / Media