On the Prize website they write the justification for the award:
“The Volvo Environment Foundation takes great pleasure in awarding its 2008 environment prize to Crawford “Buzz” Holling, one of ecology’s great integrative thinkers for his pioneering lifetime work on ecosystem dynamics, transformation and resilience, and adaptive management.
Crawford “Buzz” Holling is one of the most creative and influential ecologists of our times. His integrative thinking has shed new light on the growth, collapse, and regeneration of coupled human-ecological systems. Current discussions and debates over non-linear systems, adaptation and change, thresholds, tipping points, and resilience are all part of his rich legacy of writing. His analyses have ranged boldly across scales of time and space. His 1973 paper on the “resilience of non-linear ecological systems” reshaped profoundly thinking on the dynamics and transformation of ecological systems. His 1978 volume on Adaptive Environmental Assessment and Management remains the classic work on this important subject 30 years later. Not content with new theoretical insights into the stability and change of human-ecological systems, Holling has profoundly critiqued what he describes as “the pathology of natural resource management,” detailing how things go right and wrong in well-intentioned efforts at resource management. His recent work with Lance Gunderson, Panarchy: Understanding Transformation in Human and Natural Systems, is no less than a far-ranging exploration of fundamental principles of resilience thinking. The newly created Stockholm Resilience Center is itself a highly promising venture built on Holling’s legacy.”