• Sweden edition
 
SPONSORED ARTICLE
Resilience: Stockholm centre helps the world grow sustainably

Resilience: Stockholm centre helps the world grow sustainably

Published: 30 May 2011 17:06 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 May 2011 17:06 GMT+02:00

The Stockholm Resilience Centre is leading the charge to put global development on a sustainable footing - a task that is engaging leading scientists and politicians worldwide.

Helping society develop in a way that preserves the environment is one of the major challenges facing the human race today, and a top priority for the world’s political leaders.

The importance of the challenge was underlined when UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon appointed a High Level Panel on Global Sustainability, which is composed of senior politicians from around the world. The panel, co-chaired by Finnish President Tarja Halonen and South African President Jacob Zuma, has been asked to find new ways for societies to grow and prosper in a sustainable way.

Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University is among those leading the quest to find answers to these seemingly intractable problems.

As its name indicates, the centre’s work is based around the concept of resilience. This is the term used to describe the capacity of a society or an ecosystem "to take a shock without tipping over a threshold that leads to irreversible change," says Johan Rockström, executive director of the centre.

In May, the centre was one of the organizers of the third Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability, in which about fifty of the world’s leading thinkers in sustainable development came together to talk about how the world can promote development while taking care of the world’s ecological systems.

Eighteen of those attending the symposium were Nobel laureates, including chemistry laureate Paul Crutzen, formerly of Stockholm University, fellow chemistry prizewinner Mario Molina, Economics laureate Amarya Sen and Literature winner Nadime Gordimer. Other guests included politicians and government ministers from around the world.

Inaugurating the conference, Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria said the Nobel Laureates had been charged with educating the world about the need for change:

“Mankind faces tremendous challenges if we are to hand our future generations a healthier mother earth, a planet more sustainable than it was when we received it from our parents," she said.

The symposium concluded with the publication of the ‘Stockholm Memorandum’, in which the laureates announced that human action had caused the planet to enter a new geological age, the ‘Anthropocene Age’ or the Age of Man.

The memorandum calls on world leaders to keep global warming below two degrees celsius, to recognize that “environmental sustainability is a precondition for poverty eradication, economic development and social justice.”

Achieving this will be a tall order, but not acting will have a big financial cost. According to the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 60 percent of things we take for free from the ecosystem - air and water purification, crop pollination and fish production - are exploited in an unsustainable way.

This is why the Stockholm Reslience Centre’s work at Stockholm University is so crucial.

The centre is a joint initiative between Stockholm University, the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics at The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It was founded with a grant of 205 million kronor ($30 million) from the Foundation of Strategic Environmental Research.

It is interdisciplinary, bringing together the expertise of researchers in all disciplines with something to add to research into The centre uses its research to advise policymakers from around the world on ways to put development on a more sustainable footing.

“Our hope is that the Stockholm Resilience Centre will contribute the essential knowledge that is needed to steer development onto a sustainable course,” says Johan Rockström.

Photo (l-r): Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Gunilla Karlsson, Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, President Tarja Halonen of Finland and Johan Rockström.

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:29 June 3, 2011 by NachoMan
Princess Victoria's gutsy declaration that "mankind faces challenges" just blew me away!
02:45 June 9, 2011 by cookiemaster
Gunilla Karlsson is still hot looking babe after all these years...amazing. Must be thanks to Ban Key Monkey that she managed to stay single.
05:21 July 7, 2011 by Savoy
How did this world and the people in it get as far as they have without these mental giants to show the way? This old world was spinning around for a very long time before they showed up and will still be spinning along well after they are gone. When you hear "sustainable" anything, hold onto your wallet and more importantly guard your liberty. Maybe the Princess has been reading her Bible, in John's gospel Jesus himself declares that "... in this world you will have trouble."
Today's headlines
Police launch probe after Easter ferry smash
A coastguard vessel involved in the rescue operation. Photo: TT

Police launch probe after Easter ferry smash

Stockholm police are investigating criminal negligence in connection with a crash involving a small taxi vessel and a giant Finland-bound ferry on Friday which left three people needing rescue from the icy waters of Stockholm's archipelago. READ () »

Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is planning to put vegetarian meatballs on the menu in an attempt to cut down on its carbon footprint, the company has announced. READ () »

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

The Swedish government has proposed scrapping the 25-year span for repaying student loans, by suggesting those who attend higher education should keep paying the money back well into retirement. READ () »

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage
The crayfish cage in the picture is not the one mentioned in the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage

Police in eastern Sweden have launched a preliminary investigation of animal cruelty after two puppies were found drowned in a crayfish cage. READ () »

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party has stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
Advertisement:
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

722
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com