Finnish research institutes planning centre in Chile to develop quality of environmental measurements

Press release 2017-04-05 at 9:00

Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Finnish Meteorological Institute and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

University of Chile
Finnish experts had a chance to visit laboratories in the University of Chile. Photo: Tero Väisänen, SYKE

An international project has been launched at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) to plan a national Center for Environmental Reference in Chile together with the Finnish Meteorological Institute and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. In Chile quality control of environmental measurements has not been sufficiently comprehensive, which has weakened confidence in environmental information.

Crafting the plan ordered by Chile's Ministry of the Environment is coordinated by the Chilean business foundation Eurochile. The plan is based on the extensive know-how in environmental measurements in the fields of chemistry (SYKE), air quality (Finnish Meteorological Institute), and emission measurement (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland).

"It has been noted in Chile that an environmentally friendly operational culture is a precondition for production directed at the external market. The forest and mining sectors are among Chile’s important areas of growth, and environmental considerations are of special importance in their development. An internationally recognized comparative laboratory centre could help promote the reliability of measurements connected with the evaluation of environmental impact", says Tero Väisänen, Development Manager at the SYKE Laboratory Centre.

The project, which was launched early in the year, will see the implementation of the planning of the Center for Environmental Reference. The long-term goal is for the Center that is set up to function in accordance with the international standards for measurements of water, land, air quality, and emissions. The goal is to improve the quality of environmental measurements in Chile and to secure the veracity of the information that is produced. The Center would promote the precision of measurements of laboratories, propagate good practices, and organise competence tests for those conducting measurements.

"Finnish knowledge and skills in securing the quality of environmental measurements are needed in Chile. We have not had an independent player in the evaluation of environmental measurements, and such a player is needed for building confidence among different stakeholders. The improvement naturally also benefits our environment, and it increases the appeal of our country for future investments", says José Aravena, Director of Eurochile.

A group of experts from SYKE, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, and VTT travelled to Chile in March to conduct a background survey for the project. The planning work is scheduled for completion in September 2017, after which decisions will be made in Chile on the implementation of the project.

More information

Development Manager Tero Väisänen, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
Tel. +358 295 251 762,

Project Manager Antti Wemberg, Finnish Meteorological Institute
Tel. +358 46 922 3117,

Principal Scientist Tuula Pellikka, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Tel. +358 40 583 1868,

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