• 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

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)

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
Ebola crisis
Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund
Photo: TT

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund

Sweden has offered a new sizeable contribution to the fund set up by UN chief Ban K-moon to fight the Ebola outbreak. READ  

Society
'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket

'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups. READ  

Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

985
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
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN