Tag Archives: Volvo Environmental Prize

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber wins 2011 Volvo prize

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber has won this year’s Volvo environmental prize for his contributions to earth system science and policy.  Resilience science has mentioned his work previously, especially his work on tipping points in the earth system.

The prize committee writes:

One of the most exciting, relevant and rapidly growing areas of environmental research is Earth System science. Over the past decade or two, the realisations that the Earth behaves as a single, integrative system and that human activities are now influencing the functioning of this system have revolutionised the framing of environmental problems at the global scale. No longer can human development proceed without consideration of impacts on our own global life support system.

…His outstanding contributions to “Earth System science for sustainability” at the national and international level have solidified Schellnhuber’s position as a world leader in the field. He is a member of the board of the prestigious Dahlem Conferences, which have made major contributions to the Earth System science – sustainability link. Beyond this higher level role, he has also been on the organising committee himself for key Dahlem Conferences. A good example is the 2003 conference on “Earth System Analysis in the Anthropocene”, which contributed important insights into the concept of the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch in Earth history, and its connection to the growing sustainability agenda.

…Finally, Schellnhuber has forged exceptionally powerful and effective links between science and policy at the highest levels around the world. The best example of this is his initiation of a series of Nobel Laureate Symposia, which gather Laureates from physics, chemistry, medicine, economics and literature to explore the environmental challenges that humanity faces in the 21st century. The third in this series, held in Stockholm in 2011, produced a set of recommendations for action that was delivered directly to the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability.

Buzz Holling wins 2008 Volvo Environmental Prize

buzz holling photoBuzz Holling, the father of resilience science and the founder of the Resilience Alliance (and contributor to this blog) has won the 2008 Volvo Environment Prize. Congratulations Buzz!

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.”