SRU members Christo Fabricius, Chloé Guerbois, Lisa Heider, Jeanne Nel and Dirk Roux participated in the Resilience2017 Conference in Stockholm, where Dirk presented a paper in a well-received session  “Protected Areas, Resilience and Sustainability”, Chloé spoke about bird stories about environmental change, Lisa gave a paper about stewardship and sustainability in the Garden Route, and Christo coordinated and chaired a session on ‘Effective adaptation to global change in coastlines’, with 11 presentations and a synthesis on the findings of their Belmont Forum project called MAGIC (Multi-scale Adaptations to Global change In Coastlines). Christo and Dirk’s sessions are culminating in two special issues in international journals (Ecosystem Services, and Regional Environmental Change).

Our reflections are that there’s a distinct shift in the resilience discourse, from ecological resilience to transformative change of the earth system, through local action. There is growing realization that social issues are the key drivers of change, and that these have to be understood for transformative change to sustainability becoming a reality.  

The conference was truly trans-disciplinary (with a slight leaning towards social issue), and art, theatre and music met science in several sessions.  The three days were useful to make progress with scientific papers, connect with new and old acquaintances, and hatch new ideas for global research founded in local action. Five days is just enough to explore the summer beauty, culture and inhibited happiness of Stockholm.

Christo Fabricius, Chloé Guerbois, Jeanne Nel and Dirk Roux at Resilience2017 in Stockholm, August 2017

The inhibited happiness of Stockholm in summer, with the conference venue on the waterfront, top left