What is the challenge?
Humanity is a major force in structuring ecosystem dynamics from local scales to the biosphere as a whole. Many terrestrial and marine systems have as a result of human impacts shifted into less productive states in their capacity to generate ecosystem services to society, i.e. food, water purification and climate regulation. At the same time human societies and globally interconnected economies rely on ecosystem services and support. But, the institutional abilities to manage the earth’s ecosystems are evolving more slowly than the use of the same systems. We are facing a cross-road where marginal change approaches in policy, governance and engineering are less relevant in sustaining the biophysical foundation for societal development. New principles for resource and environmental management and new approaches to governance and management of linked social-ecological systems are necessary in order to deal with and adapt to the challenges of living with global environmental change.
How can the centre contribute to solutions?
The Stockholm Resilience Centre intends to advance the understanding of complex social-ecological systems, and generate new and elaborated insights and means for the development of management and governance practices; through world leading inter- and transdisciplinary research that integrates social science, the humanities and natural sciences; by fostering an international arena for science to policy dialogue and; through strategic communication for improved policy and decision support, which secures ecosystem services for human wellbeing and builds resilience for long-term sustainability.
The Stockholm Resilience Centre is a joint effort of the Stockholm University , the Beijer Institute of the RoyalSwedishAcademy of Sciences and the Stockholm Environment Institute that now pool their competences, international networks and collaborators to further the advancement of interdisciplinary science for sustainability. A major focus will be on social-ecological resilience – the capacity to deal with change and continue to develop, emphasizing that society and nature represent interdependent social-ecological systems with complex interactions from local to global scales, a perspective that represents new challenges for governance and management. More information on the research agenda and activities of the centre is found on its website.
Who will benefit from the results?
An important part of the Stockholm Resilience Centre’s activities is a diversity of communication activities that bridge science and policy, from participatory research processes to policy dialogues, and communication through various media. The work of the centre will also feed into teaching and training in Sweden and internationally. The Stockholm Resilience Centre will continuously advice policy makers nationally, in Europe and internationally, and develop innovative collaboration with relevant actors from local social-ecological systems to the global policy arena.