Home » SWEDISH UNIVERSITIES ENGAGED IN SOUTH ASIA RESEARCH 2015 » Stockholm University » Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University/Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), 2015

Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University/Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), 2015

Postal address: Systemekologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, SE-106 91 Stockholm
Visiting address: Frescati Backe/Kräftriket house 2 B
Web page Dept. of Systems Ecology: http://www.ecology.su.se/
Web page Stockholm Resilience Centre: http://www.stockholmresilience.org/

The research and teaching in the Department of Systems Ecology at Stockholm University focuses on the study of ecosystems and on sustainable use of natural resources. Studies are made on both basic and applied ecological problems, with an emphasis on coastal and marine ecosystems and coupled social-ecological systems. The Department has been involved in the development of the interdisciplinary field of ecological economics, and research is carried out in many developing countries, mostly in the tropics.
The Department works in close collaboration with the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University and the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Södertörn and Gotland University Colleges and the Institute of Coastal Research of the Swedish Board of Fisheries.

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.
Albaeco produces many publications. One of them is the Sustainable Development Update (SDU), a newsletter on evironment – 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.

Research connected to South Asia:

During the period 2008-09, Dr. Jenny Grönwall was connected to the department. She was previously connected to the Department of Water and Environmental Studies, Tema Institute, Linköping University, where she defended her doctoral dissertation titled ”Access to water Rights, obligations and the Bangalore situation” on Wednesday 4 June 2008. At the Dept. of Systems Ecology, she pursued a post-doc study focusing on urban development in Bangalore city, India. More information about Dr. Grönwall’s research.
From March 2011, Jenny Grönwall works as Technical Officer at the WaterWise division, Abu Dhabi Regulation and Supervision Bureau in the United Arab Emirates. This is a government agency aiming at enhancing water efficiency in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. 

The researcher Max Troell defended his doctoral dissertation entited ”Intensive fish cage farming: impacts, resource demands and increased sustainability through integration” at the department in 2001. It focused on integrated aquaculture techniques, and characteristic for his work is a system ecology perspective applied to aquaculture.
He is now working as a Research Associate at the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics in Stockholm. More information about his research.

Partner driven INDO-Swedish collaboration project on governance of ecosystem services

In July 2010, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), through its program for Partner Driven Cooperation (Aktörssamverkan), announced a call for applications for grants to collaborative projects related to access to and use of research for the period 2010 – 2012. This program is not support to research but rather assisting partners in assessing and using research in policy formulation and innovation. Sida’s initiative for Partner Driven Cooperation is aiming to support sustainable cooperation relationships, and concerns only a few selected countries, namely China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. More information.
In December 2010, decisions were made. A total number of 32 projects were selected, out of which nine refers to Indo-Swedish collaboration projects. Information about all India related projects given grants.

Dr. Maria Tengö, researcher at the Dept. of Systems Ecology (and Stockholm Resilience Centre), is the main applicant for one of these India related grants. She and her colleagues were given SEK 4.17 m for three years (2010-12) for a project entitled ”Bridging the science-policy gap for governance of ecosystem services – lessons learned from sacred ecosystems”. The project is carried out in collaboration with Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment(ATREE) with its main office in Bangalore.

Abstract: Sacred ecosystems are well recognized for their importance for protecting biodiversity. Such community based conservation areas represent an important asset for conservation at low cost for the government, in India as well as other parts of the world. Furthermore, their role in generating services for human wellbeing locally, such as crop pollination, and at larger scales, e.g. moisture conservation and CO2-storage, are increasingly being understood by researchers. In spite of this, sacred sites and their social and ecological values are being lost at a high rate, driven by deforestation, agricultural intensification, and urbanization. There is obviously a gap between the emerging science of ecosystems as social-ecological systems and the policy development aiming to protect India’s biological assets. The partnership between SRC and ATREE aims to bridge this gap through the following steps: 1. Policy oriented syntheses 2. GIS database and web portal easily accessible for decision makers 3. Direct interventions with the policy-making process

Following the development of the partnership, the project has been geared towards urban ecology and the role of sacred sites in the urban context. Trees and lakes that are considered sacred or of religious value are among few protected green assets in rapidly transforming cities in India. To enhance the recognition among policy makers of the social and ecological importance of such sites, as well as the role of the civic society in engaging to protect green spaces is essential to preserve green spaces in cities such as Bangalore, the IT-hub of South-East Asia. The project is also contributing to the development of the first City Biodiversity Outlook (CBO) using Bangalore asone of the case studies involved. The CBO project is driven by the Convention for Biologival Diversity (CBD) and will be the first comprehensive global analysis of how urbanisation and urban growth impact biodiversity and ecosystem dynamics in terrestrial, freshwater and marine systems, combining science and policy. More information.

The researchers on the Swedish side involved in the project are besides Dr. Maria Tengö also Thomas ElmqvistMarkku Pyykönen and Divya Gopal, all affiliated to the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC). On the Indian side, the researchers involved in the project are Harini Nagendra and Jagdish Krishnaswamy, both at ATREE.