Eeva Primmer is the Research Director of the Finnish Environment Institute, SYKE. Her research interest is in the governance of nature, ecosystem services and natural resources.

“Because our wellbeing relies on resources, we need to govern them sustainably, in a systemic fashion.” - Eeva Primmer

Professor Eeva Primmer is the Research Director of the Finnish Environment Institute, SYKE. In this role, she is responsible for the quality, integrity and impact of the multidisciplinary research of the key governmental research institute assessing and promoting sustainability in Finland, active also in the European Union and globally.  Prof. Primmer is also an Adjunct Professor (Docent) in Environmental Policy at the University of Helsinki, and a member of the Finnish Forest Council.

Prof. Primmer has held a part-time Mercator Professor position at Albert Ludvig’s University Freiburg, and acted as an Associate Editor at the Elsevier journal Ecosystem Services. She has been an expert member of the Policy Support Tools and Methodologies and review editor of the Europe and Central Asia Assessment Chapter 6 Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Professor Primmer's interest lies in how institutions, networks of public and private actors as well as the constant, and sometimes abrupt, environmental change shape policy and management at different governance levels. She has worked on projects ranging from short evaluations to multi-year large collaborations, financed by the Academy of Finland, Finnish ministries, and the European Union. Her research has been published in academic peer-reviewed journals, monographs and conference proceedings.


-Governance of ecosystem services, multi-level governance and policy instruments

-Forest and environmental policy institutions, policy implementation, organizational adaptation and innovations

-Integrated conservation and use of natural resources

-Bioenergy and renewable energy policy analysis

-Analysis of organizational capabilities and resources as well as organizational networks

-Analysis of formal and informal norms and professional judgment

-Combining qualitative and quantitative analysis in environmental policy evaluations

Selected publications

Primmer, E., Schulman, L., Furman, E., Seppälä, J., Hildén, M., Kaljonen, M.,  Kautto, P.; Kivimaa, P.; Korhonen-Kurki, K.; Lyytimäki, J.; & Tainio, M. (2021). It is time for sustainability transformation. Finnish Environment Institute Policy Brief 9.12.2021.

Primmer, E., & Paavola, J. 2021. Insurance Value of Ecosystems: An Introduction. Ecological Economics, 184, 107001.

Primmer, E., Varumo, L., Krause, T., Orsi, F., Geneletti, D., Brogaard, S., Aukes, E., Ciolli, M., Grossmann, C., Hernández-Morcillo, M., Kister, J., Kluvánková, T., Loft, L., Maier, C., Meyer, C., Schleyer, C., Spacek, M., Mann, C. 2021. Mapping Europe’s institutional landscape for forest ecosystem service provision, innovations and governance. Ecosystem Services, 47, 101225.

Kivimaa, P., Primmer, E., & Lukkarinen, J. 2020. Intermediating policy for transitions towards net-zero energy buildings. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions.

Paavola, J., Primmer, E. 2019. Governing the Provision of Insurance Value from Ecosystems. Ecological Economics, 164, 106346. 

Primmer, E., Varumo, L, Kotilainen, J.M., Raitanen, E., Kattainen, M., Pekkonen, M., Kuusela, S., Kullberg, P. Kangas, J.A., Ollikainen, M. 2019. Governing biodiversity offsetting: An institutional analysis of rights and responsibilities. Land Use Policy 81, 776-784.

Primmer, E., Saarikoski, H., Vatn, A.  2018. An empirical analysis of institutional demand for valuation knowledge. Ecological Economics 152, 152–160.

Annala, S., Lukkarinen, J., Primmer, E., Honkapuro, S., Ollikka, K., Sunila, K., Ahonen, T. 2018. Regulation as an enabler of demand response in electricity markets and power systems. Journal of Cleaner Production 195, 1139–1148.

Bouwwma, I., Schleyer, C., Primmer, E., Winkler, K.J., Berry, P., Young, J., Carmen, E., Špulerová, J., Bezák, P., Preda, E., Vadineanui, A. 2018. Adoption of the Ecosystem Services concept in EU policies. Ecosystem Services, 213-222.

Primmer, E., Termansen, M., Bredin, Y.K., Blicharska, M., Garcia-Llorente, M., Berry, P., Jääskeläinen, T., Bela, G., Fabók, V., Geamana, N., Harrison, P.A., Haslett, J., Cosor, G., Holst Andersen, A. 2017. Caught between personal and collective values: biodiversity conservation in European decision-making. Environmental Policy and Governance 27(6), 588–604.

Primmer, E.  2017. Institutional constraints on conservation auction: organizational mandate, competencies and practices. Land Use Policy 63, Pages 621–631. 

Primmer, E., Jokinen, P., Blicharska, M., Barton, D.N., Bugter, R., Potschin, M. 2015. A framework for empirical analysis of ecosystem services governance. Ecosystem Services 16, 158-166.

Makkonen, M., Huttunen, S., Primmer, E., Repo, A., Hildén, M. 2015. Policy coherence in climate change mitigation: an ecosystem service approach to forests as carbon sinks and bioenergy sources. Forest Policy and Economics 50, 153-162.

Primmer, E., Paloniemi, R., Similä, J., Tainio A. 2014. Forest owner perceptions of institutions and voluntary contracting for biodiversity conservation: Not crowding out but staying out. Ecological Economics 103, 1-10.

Similä, J., Pölönen, I., Fredrikson, J., Primmer, E., Horne, P. 2014. Biodiversity Protection in Private Forests: An Analysis of Compliance. Journal of Environmental Law 0, 1–21. 

Primmer, E., Paloniemi, R., Similä, J., Barton, D.N. 2013. Evolution in Finland's forest biodiversity conservation payments and the institutional constraints on establishing new policy. Society & Natural Resources 26(10), 1137-1154.

Raitanen, E., Similä, J., Siikavirta, K., Primmer, E. 2013. Economic Instruments for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Conservation & the EU State Aid Regulation. European Environmental & Planning Law 10(1), 6-28. DOI:

Primmer, E., Furman, E. 2012. Operationalising ecosystem service approaches for governance: Do measuring, mapping and valuing integrate sector-specific knowledge systems? Ecosystem Services 1, 85–92. 

Primmer, E. 2011. Analysis of institutional adaptation: integration of biodiversity conservation into forestry, Journal of Cleaner Production, 19:16, 1822-1832.

Primmer, E. 2011. Policy, project and operational networks: channels and conduits for learning in forest biodiversity conservation. Forest Policy and Economics, 13:2, 132–142.

Primmer, E., Karppinen, H. 2010. Professional judgment in non-industrial private forestry: Forester attitudes and social norms influencing biodiversity conservation, Forest Policy and Economics, 12:2, 136-146. 

Primmer, E., Wolf, S. A. 2009. Empirical accounting of adaptation to environmental change: organizational competencies and biodiversity conservation in Finnish forest management. Ecology and Society 14(2): 27. [online] URL:

Primmer, E. and Kyllönen, S. 2006. Goals for Public Participation Implied by Sustainable Development, and the Preparatory Process of the Finnish National Forest Programme. Forest Policy and Economics. 8(8) 838-853.


Prof. Primmer talks about SYKE Policy Brief: It is time for sustainability transformation, Finnish Environment Institute

Transformation of biodiversity conservation policy with Eeva Primmer, University of Helisinki

Prof. Primmer talks about forest governance and restoration, European Forest Institute (EFI)

View more publications on Eeva Primmer's Google Scholar