- Film launch on Urban Green Commons
- Hawaiian reefs through the resilience lens
- Special issue: "Marine regime shifts around the globe: theory, drivers, and impacts
- Three keys to succesful Sustainable Development Goals
- Seminar: Global Social-Ecological Connectivity and the Biosphere
- Reflections on people and the biosphere
- Beijer Institute board member wins 2014 Volvo Environment Prize
- Zooming in on blue-fin tuna farming
- Climate engineering reconsidered
- Changing Planet: New cluster on global change research
- News Archive
Film launch on Urban Green Commons
A new film series has been launched picturing the growing movement of urban gardening.
During the last three years Beijer Institute researcher Johan Colding and his research colleagues from Stockholm Resilience Centre and Royal Technical College (KTH) collaborated with the filmmakers Seven Frames Production to document a number of urban farming projects in both Berlin and Stockholm, as part of a research project.
The film series is called Urban Green Commons: Berlin-Stockholm and draws ultimately on the notion that common property initiatives can offer important alternatives to privatization of land in cities. The film series consists of four films that each deals with different aspects of urban gardening and farming.
"It has been truly fascinating to see what can happen when local residents themselves get a chance to dig into the soil, work with their hands, and together with others get the opportunity to take care of and manage green areas in cities," says Pehr Arte, one of the film makers.
Common spaces with different purposes These urban gardens have been created by citizens often on what was old waste land, such as an abandoned train track in Stockholm, but they vary in management form and theme. In Stockholm one of the gardens "Folkodlarna i Kärrtorp" focus on spreading knowledge of organic gardening and producing local food. Meanwhile, the "Ökogarten Bushgraben" in Berlin is more spritually oriented and aim with its activities to be restorative for persons that are mentally fatigue or disabled.
The gardens are examples of what Johan Colding and his colleagues have labelled "Urban Green Commons", green city spaces that are collectively organized and managed by the residents themselves. They represent a particular type of property right systems, which are different from those that are in the hands of private actors or the state and local governments.
"There is an increasing scientific interest in urban gardening and urban common property systems. The film series supports and complements several findings from the scientific literature," explains Johan Colding.
Science and film combined in project
Much of the new insights featured in the films have been derived from scientific studies on Urban Green Commons and similar gardening projects in cities and the films are part of the research project SUPER (Sustainable Urban Planning for Ecosystem services and Resilience). This project intends to develop knowledge on how urban planning processes can better integrate ecosystem services to nurture local resilience building in urban landscapes. It also strives to lay a foundation for social innovations about inclusive forms of ecosystem stewardship, something that both the film-makers and the researchers have found to be vital for transitions into more sustainable cities.
"In the long-term, we in the SUPER project hope to be able to generate new knowledge and innovations of immediate concern to urban residents, policy makers, and urban planners," says Johan Colding.
The films have been produced by Seven Frames with the support of Formas (Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning) and the Beijer Institute/Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Johan Colding is responsible for the original idea and has been the scientific project manager.
Hawaiian reefs through the resilience lens
But people matter too
Avoiding regime shifts in coral reefs is important because coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth and harbour approximately 25% of all marine species. They provide a wide range of ecosystem goods and services that are crucial for economic and societal development, such as food, coastal protection and income from tourism.
Jouffray J-B, Nyström M,Norström AV, Williams ID, Wedding LM,Kittinger JN, Williams GJ. 2015 Identifying
multiple coral reef regimes and their drivers across the Hawaiian archipelago. Phil.Trans. R. Soc. B 370: 20130268.
Special issue: "Marine regime shifts around the globe: theory, drivers, and impacts
Conversi, A., Möllman, C. Folke, C., Edwards, M., (editors). 2014. Marine regime shifts around the globe: theory, drivers and impacts. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society - Biological Sciences 370(1659)
Three keys to succesful Sustainable Development Goals
Norström, A. V., A. Dannenberg, G. McCarney, M. Milkoreit, F. Diekert, G. Engström, R. Fishman, J. Gars, E. Kyriakopoolou, V. Manoussi, K. Meng, M. Metian, M. Sanctuary, M. Schlüter, M. Schoon, L. Schultz, and M. Sjöstedt. 2014. Three necessary conditions for establishing effective Sustainable Development Goals in the Anthropocene. Ecology and Society 19(3): 8. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-06602-190308
Seminar: Global Social-Ecological Connectivity and the Biosphere
See video from the seminar: Click here for part 1 with keynoter speaker Eric Lambin and click here for part two with speakers Henrik Österblom, Emily Boyd and Niki Frantzeskaki. Moderator Victor Galaz.
Globalization is not only increasing the flows of people, ideas, capital and technology at the global scale, but also creating novel and large-scale social-ecological connections. These connections are sometimes denoted "telecoupling"or "nested vulnerabilities", and are gaining increased attention from sustainability scholars. Increased global connectivity can createnew systemic risks at the global level, as experienced during the 2008-2009 global food crisis, and the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa. However, increased connectivity could also act as an engine for diversity, robustness and innovation as social actors tap into its benefits.
Reflections on people and the biosphere
Beijer Institute board member wins 2014 Volvo Environment Prize
Zooming in on blue-fin tuna farming
Tuna is one of the top fish commodities in the international seafood trade. The bluefin tuna can attain astonishing high market prices which has led to a dramatic decline in many wild stocks. This has triggered the development of bluefin tuna (BFT) aquaculture as an economic alternative for meeting the growing demand. However, a new study published in the journal Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture by Beijer researcher Max Troell and colleagues from Stockholm Resilience Centre and Duke University, shows that catching juvenile bluefin tuna and farming (ranching) them on giant farms raises a number of sustainability concerns.
Tuna is a very resource-demanding species to farm and the article sheds light on direct and indirect interactions with wild fish stocks. While most captured bluefin tuna enter the global seafood market directly, an increasing proportion of the live catch is used for aquaculture. As the authors points out, there are confounding uncertainties related to how much wild tuna is being caught for farming in so-called “sea ranches”, what the future trend might be and also uncertainties with respect to statistics for farmed volumes.
"In order to improve the management of BFT, leading countries need to revise their statistics and solve problems with misreporting, underreporting and illegal catches," co-author Max Troell says.
He stresses that this should be a collective effort between the producing countries and international organisations such as FAO. A harmonisation of data will help the scientific stock assessment and facilitate more sustainable quotas. This would have to involve better estimation of fish sizes and weight caught for aquaculture.
Metian M., S. Pouil, A. M. Boustany, and M. Troell. 2014. Farming of bluefin tuna – reconsidering global estimates and sustainability concerns. Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture 22(3):184-192.
Climate engineering reconsidered
Barrett, S., T. M. Lenton, A. Millner, A. Tavoni, S. Carpenter, J. M. Anderies, F. S. Chapin III, A.-S. Crépin, G. Daily, P. R. Ehrlich, C. Folke, V. Galaz, T. P. Hughes, N. Kautsky, E. Lambin, R. Naylor, K. Nyborg, S. Polasky, M. Scheffer, J. Wilen, A. Xepapadeas, and A. de Zeeuw. 2014. Climate engineering reconsidered. Nature Climate Change 4:527-529.
Changing Planet: New cluster on global change research
Researchers join forces to strengthen research on global social-ecological connectivity
How is the human enterprise shaping the biosphere and how can we become better stewards of planet Earth? These are some of the fundamental questions that will drive a new research cluster called 'Changing Planet'.
The cluster primarily consists of researchers from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics and the Erling-Persson Family Academy Programme - Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere.
It is researchers from the "global themes" of the three above mentioned organisations that form the new initiative. They are all well-connected and will rely heavily on a network of organisations around the world including the Earth System Governance Project, Resilience Alliance and University of Waterloo in order to advance the research and contribute to positive change for global sustainability.
A pressing need for new perspectives
'Changing Planet' is a response to the increasing need for improved understanding of interactions between people and ecosystems at larger scales.
While previous research has done a great job in mapping and quantifying linkages of many biophysical components at the planetary scale, there is still a poor understanding of social-ecological connectivity at that scale, argue the researchers behind the initiative.
"The pace and extent of global changes means there is a pressing need to develop our understanding of how social processes are interconnected and how they drive and interact with the processes of the biosphere," explains Beatrice Crona, member of the steering group.
Solutions at multiple scales
The new umbrella initiative aims to provide a platform to develop this knowledge, making use of the diverse methodological toolboxes and skillsets of the contributing research programmes and their international partners.
"The research undertaken within 'Changing Planet' will be broadly concerned with understanding how humans affect social and ecological processes, what this may lead to and what possible solutions and transformations can be initiated to improve outcomes in the future," says Anne-Sophie Crépin, also part of the steering group.
The partner organisations have already organised several international workshops about global dynamics. Now, with the launch of the new cluster the work will be strengthened through a range of different activities, including interactive 'learnshops', a kind of workshops designed to create dialogue and learning across academia and business and/or practitioners
Research will also be conducted by postdocs and senior researchers employed or affiliated to each programme.
The cluster's new website includes more details about partners, advisors, funders and ongoing research, as well as publications, videos and blogposts.
Anne-Sophie Crépin, Deputy director and leader of the Global dynamics and resilience programme, the Beijer Institute of Ecological economics
Beatrice Crona, Exevutive director, Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Sara Cornell, Coordinator of the Planetary Boundaries initiative, Stockholm Resilience Centre
Victor Galaz, Theme leader of the Global and cross-scale dynamics theme, Stockholm Resilience Centre