Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm

Postal address: Box 50005 SE-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden
Visiting address: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Lilla Frescativägen 4
Web page:

The Beijer Institute is an international research institute under the auspices of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Institute was established in 1977 and was reorganized in 1991 to form The Beijer Institute: The International Institute of Ecological Economics. Core funding is provided by the Kjell and Märta Beijer Foundation. The objective of the Beijer Institute is to foster interdisciplinary work involving ecologists and economists, or more generally involving natural scientists and social scientists. By being a research institute of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Institute has unique advantages of accomplishing this objective. The Academy consists of a blend of natural and social scientists and is by its own activities reducing artificial barriers between disciplines.

Research connected to South Asia:

Max TroellThe researcher Max Troell is connected to the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics in Stockholm, as a Research Associate. He defended his doctoral dissertation entited ”Intensive fish cage farming: impacts, resource demands and increased sustainability through integration” at the Dept. of Systems Ecology, Stockholms University in 2001. It focused on integrated aquaculture techniques, and characteristic for his work is a system ecology perspective applied to aquaculture.
He is an experienced lecturer from teaching at Stockholm University in marine and brackish water ecology courses and aquaculture. Practical fieldwork has mainly been conducted in developing countries (both tropical and temperate) and involved coastal systems as well as freshwater systems. He is currently doing work in India and Cambodia, where he studies how aquacultures allocation of low valued fish resources affect poor peoples ability to access cheep fish. In India he studies coastal fishery resources and coastal communities, and in Cambodia the Mekong fishery and rural inland communities (Sida Project).
Max Troell has been a co-theme leader of “Governance and ecosystem management of coastal and marine systems" at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (see below).
The India project is entitled “Consumption of fish resources in aquaculture production: implications for supplies of low cost nutritious food for poor consumer groups and its overall socio-economic impact”. The project has been carried out in collaboration with Andhra University, Visakapatnam during the period 2006 – 08.
Abstract: The project aimed at investigating how the allocation of fish resources by the aquaculture industry affects people living in areas where such resources are available and also being consumed. The resources involve both fish for fishmeal and fish used directly as “trash fish” feed. The general objective is to investigate how the aquaculture sectors need for fish resources affects fish protein availability for poor people. The following specific questions will be addressed: 1) are local subsistence or commercial fish catches to a lesser extent reaching local markets as food fish; 2) do poor people have more difficulties in getting hold of cheep fish due to decreased availability; 3) are more of the catches being sold to fishmeal producers; 4) if so, how does this affect the fishermen’s income and are any extra profits benefiting other community members; 5) has the fishmeal market changed the fishing behavior (lower valued fish being targeted, new species being targeted); 6) has the demand for fishmeal resulted in unsustainable fishing practices; 7) is the fishmeal produced used locally or internationally.

A few case study sites were selected and they were chosen to represent areas where interaction between aquaculture activities, fisheries, local markets and subsistence consumption may exist. More explicitly these areas are characterized by a) dependence on fish among lower socio-economic groups, b) growth of aquaculture, c) relatively high importance of shrimp and marine finfish culture, d) export of finished aquaculture products, e) existing fishmeal production. The case study sites include Andhra Pradesh, India, and Tonle Sap Lake district, Cambodia. The following studies been carried out and published as reports: 1) The role of low value fish in aquaculture in Cambodia after ban on the cultivation of Giant Snakehead- Socio-economic impact assessment; 2) Role of low value fish for consumption and possible interactions/conflicts with the aquaculture in Cambodia.

Max Troell worked earlier on a now terminated research project titled ”Assessment of mangrove degradation and resilience in the Indian sub-continent: The cases of Godavari estuary and South West Sri Lanka”. This was a collaborative project between Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, India and Sri Lanka with the main aim to contribute to the understanding of mangrove ecosystem functioning, the human impact on mangroves, and the potential of mangrove ecosystems to recover or to adapt to these perturbations. Activities are concentrated on the mangroves in and around the Gautami Godavari Estuary (Andhra Pradesh, India) and several mangrove forests along the Southwest coast of Sri Lanka. Patrik Rönnbäck and Nils Kautsky are other Swedish scientists working within the same project.

Ingela Ternström was previously connected to Beijer Institute. She is a Ph.D. in Economics. She defended her doctoral dissertation on ”The Management of Common-Pool Resources – Theoretical Essays and Empirical Evidence” at Stockholm School of Economics in December 2002. Before joining the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics she was a Visiting Scholar at Indiana University in Bloomington, USA. Her research interest focuses on the institutional aspects of common-pool resource management, both theoretically, with a focus on income level, economic inequality and leadership, and empirically, with studies of cooperation in irrigation systems in Nepal.
Understanding the causes for institutional failure in common-pool resource management systems, and developing methods for predicting and avoiding it. The effect of HIV/AIDS on common-pool and local natural resource management, specifically how HIV/AIDS, via its effect on the social and institutional structures of affected communities, will affect the way local natural resources are used and managed.
Already back in 1994 she wrote a Masters thesis at Stockholm School of Economics with the title: ”Natural Resource Tenure, Market Imperfections and Environmental Effects: Land Tenure and Deforestation in Nepal”. Later she has participated in several conferences related to Nepal. In the 2003 Conference of the European Association for Environmental and Resource Economists held in Bilbao, Spain, she presented a paper called "Incentives or Coordination? Cooperation in Irrigation Systems in Nepal”.
In November 2005 Dr. Ternström was given SEK 1.8 Million as a three-years grant (2006-08) by Sida/SAREC for a project titled ”HIV/AIDS – The true tragedy of the commons? Effects of HIV/AIDS on management and use of local natural resources”. More information on the South Asia related Sida/SAREC grants 2005.

Stockholm Resilience Centre

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SRCThe Stockholm Resilience Centre is a Swedish Centre of Excellence established in 2007 as a joint effort between the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University; Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics; and Stockholm Environment Institue, SEI. The Centre is funded by FORMAS, with an aim to do integrated research on social-ecological systems. The project runs over a five-year period and its work focuses on complex systems, regime shifts and resilience. The centre argues that because of positive feedbacks causing non-linear dynamics and regime shifts in social-ecological systems, a resilience approach will be required for guiding management and policy towards sustainability.
The Centre for Transdisciplinary Environmental Research (CTM) at Stockholm University and The Baltic Nest Institute (former MARE) are also part of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

The Stockholm Resilience Centre works in close contact with Albaeco, an independent non-profit organisation founded in 1998 by researchers in Natural Resource Management at Stockholm University together with representatives from advertising, media and business economics. Albaeco is connected to an extensive network of international researchers from both the natural and social sciences. Albaeco is an active partner of the Centre and assists researchers in their communications efforts to reach out with research findings to the media, politicians, government agencies and resource users at local, regional and international levels. Albaeco’s mission is to communicate the latest in sustainability science with a focus on Nature’s importance to society and the economy. Albaeco spreads easy-to-grasp information on how human societies depend on functioning ecosystems, and how societies influence the capacity of ecosystems to sustain human well-being. The information is available for practical use by policy-makers, businesses, schools, media and the general public. More information about Albaeco.
EDC NewsAlbaeco produces many publications. One of them is the Sustainable Development Update (SDU), a newsletter on environment – development issues, that from 2009 has been turned into a News Blog. It was originally developed out of the electronic Newsletter called ”Environment, Development & Conflict – EDC News”, that was published 2003–06 by the Dept. of Peace and Decvelopment Studies (PADRIGU), University of Gothenburg, and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Go for the Sustainable Development Update (SDU) News Blog. new