At the closing ceremony of the 33rd International Geographical Congress in August 2016, centre science director Carl Folke was awarded the International Geographical Union'smost prestigious Planet and Humanity Medal.
The award goes to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to environmental issues. Previous recipients have included Al Gore, Gro Harlem Brundtland and Nelson Mandela.
Professor Carl Folke, who is also director of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, was recognised for his "outstanding contribution to science and action on the resilience of humanity and the planet". The IGU Honours and Awards Committee said: "Through his committed engagement to transdisciplinary research, he has been a pioneer on understanding resilience as progress that serves the betterment of humanity."
Insight, compassion, humour and optimism
Furthermore Carl Folke was celebrated for his scientific insight, compassion, humour, and optimism, and for fostering greater trust between science and society.
"He has mentored and acted as a role model for peers and students, demonstrating every day and in diverse ways how science can be a powerful means for reconnecting humanity to the biosphere," the awards committee said.
Professor Carl Folke has extensive experience in transdisciplinary collaboration between natural and social scientists, and has worked with ecosystem dynamics and services as well as the social and economic dimension of ecosystem management and proactive measures to manage resilience.
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